Innovation Portal

2017 PLTW Engineering Design Competition


brought to you by CHevron

An engineering design competition open to PLTW High School students in grades 9 to 11.


PLTW high school students in grades 9 to 11 are invited to participate in the 2017 PLTW Engineering Design Competition, brought to you by Chevron. The competition gives students the opportunity to create and/or improve infrastructure in their communities, and is designed to recognize and reward outstanding student projects and highlight the importance of engineering design that solves real-world problems. Student portfolios will be built and then submitted on the Innovation Portal, then portfolios will be reviewed by a panel of judges. The top three teams will receive prizes and be recognized for their achievements. The winning team will present their design at the 2017 PLTW Summit in Orlando, FL in October.

2017 Problem

Create/improve upon your community's infrastructure.

You and your classmates depend on infrastructure every day. The combination of fundamental systems enables your community to function. These systems include water and sewage systems, roads, railways, power grids, dams, reservoirs and many more. The infrastructure in the United States is in poor condition and in dire need of innovation and enhancements. Your task is to address a problem facing your local community that is related to infrastructure. Keep in mind you will need to create a prototype or model of the solution you propose to test how it addresses the problem. 

This problem is derived from the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges for Engineering. For more information regarding infrastructure and the challenge please visit the following website: 

General Restrictions

Who can participate?

The 2017 PLTW Engineering Design Competition is open to high school PLTW students, grades 9 to 11. Teams of must consist of 2 to 4 students. Single student entries will not be considered.

  • Thanks to Chevron, there is no registration or competition entry fee. 

Why participate?

Participating in the competition will enable students to achieve recognition for their work in and out of the classrooms. The top three teams will be awarded prizes. All participating teams and/or individuals will receive a letter of recognition for submitting their engineering design project to this competition. All projects will remain the intellectual property of the individual/teams; however, the administrator requires permission to develop and distribute the story behind the top three submissions.

Winning entries will be recognized as follows:

First place:

  • $5,000 grant for your school's PLTW program
  • Recognition and an opportunity to present at the 2017 PLTW Summit in Orlando, FL in October. Flights, hotel accommodations, and other expenses will be provided.
  • Beats by Dre Wireless Headphones (one per student on the team)
  • PLTW Banner for the school
  • Certificate of Commendation

  • Second place:
  • $2,500 grant for your school's PLTW program
  • Beats by Dre Wireless Headphones (one per student on the team)
  • PLTW Banner for the school
  • Certificate of Commendation

  • Third place:
  • $1,000 grant for your school's PLTW program
  • Beats by Dre Headphone (one per student on the team)
  • PLTW Banner for the school
  • Certificate of Commendation


  • March 1st, 2017: Project Registration Opens on the Innovation Portal
  • April 19th, 2017: Portfolio Registration closes on the Innovation Portal
  • April 26, 2017: Deadline to submit portfolios

How to participate in the PLTW Engineering Design Competition

Sign Up for Account:  All team members should sign up for Innovation Portal accounts at Please use an email account that you check regularly.

Watch Online Tutorials:

  1. 1. Video ONE -  GETTING STARTED using the Innovation Portal - Learn how to create your own account, create a portfolio, and connect a portfolio to partners, teachers and mentors.

  2. 2. Video TWO - BUILDING PORTFOLIO PAGES – Learn how to add text, upload and insert graphics, documents, and other files, insert a video onto a page and use the rubric to aim at the highest scores. (You will be effectively building web pages similar to working in Publisher, so viewing the video is highly recommended.)

  3. Register for Competition:  All team members should register for the competition by clicking the “REGISTER” button on this page once they are logged into their new account. (Registration is currently open.)

Submit Portfolio:  The submission button will appear on this page and activate March 8 2017. Once your portfolio is ready, click on the submission button to enter your portfolio into the competition. (Note: Prior to submission, please change the status of all team members to “owner” so that any member is able to submit on behalf of the team.)

Communication about the status of your entry, the competition, and competition results will be reported back to you via the email address associated with your Innovation Portal account that you register with.

More about Chevron:

Working with our partners, we take a comprehenisve approach to investments in education by getting students excited about STEM and encouraging them to pursue STEM courses and, ultimately, STEM careers. We focus on improving instruction in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and on helping to provide the career and technical training that can lead to well-paying jobs. To learn more visit:

Use of the Innovation Portal is completely free.

Judging and Questions

Judging will be based on the embedded Engineering Design Process Rubric in the Innovation Portal.

IMPORTANT!!! Only portfolios created with the EEngineering Design Process Rubric will be eligible to enter the competition. Portfolios created with the EDPPSR rubric will not be eligible to enter.

*For questions regarding this competition, please email:  [email protected]

Opportunity Terms & Conditions

Students must be at least 13 years of age to enter the competition.

Please Note: All projects submitted to this competition will remain the intellectual property of the individual or team; however by entering the competition the individual/team understands and gives the organizers of this competition permission to develop and distribute the story about the projects, the students and their schools in order to promote the impact of competition and highlight the value of the project work. Effort will be taken to describe the project in general and without offering any details related to intellectual property concerns.

PLTW Terms & Conditions

I understand that by submitting this work to an opportunity or competition hosted on the Innovation Portal that the submitted copy of work will be in the control of the hosting organization and is subject to the terms and conditions that organization has posted for entry requirements and conditions.