Innovative Vehicle Design (IVD) Challenges 

Challenging high school students to incorporate innovation and engineering into a wide variety of complex vehicles, designed to maximize performance in mission challenges.

Square One’s “Signature Series” of projects enable high school students to incorporate innovation and engineering into the design of a wide variety of complex vehicles. This family of Innovative Vehicle Design projects provide students with a real-world, authentic learning opportunity.  IVD Challenges supplement existing STEM curricula, and help teachers better integrate NGSS Engineering Practices into their instruction.  The authentic and relevant challenges provide a context in which students can explore the soft skills that are so critical for todays workforce.

Each IVD Challenge is designed to provide a holistic learning experience, exposing students to all facets of a modern engineering challenge.  Student vehicles compete in a variety of performance missions at multiple competitive events throughout the year, but also vie for a series of “Judged Awards” at the annual Square One IVD Challenge Day each spring, the culmination of the IVD Competitive season.

One of the most unique IVD components is our “Ambassadorship Challenge”, which requires teams to share their project with at least 100 younger students or community members.  This is a valuable opportunity for those students to hone their presentation skills, and provide a learning experience for others.  This allows for student teams with diverse interests, providing a variety of roles for students within the team setting.

IVD Awards

Each IVD Challenge pushes students to achieve in the following competitive categories:

  • Performance – Ability of vehicles to complete variety of performance missions
  • Innovation Award – Judged for Innovation, as conveyed during video presentation.
  • Engineering Award – Based on engineering disciplines utilized, understanding of engineering principles, processes, decision making, and curation of artifacts..
  • Craftsmanship Award  – Awards outstanding craftsmanship and attention to detail in the structural, mechanical, and electrical fabrication and assembly.
  • Presentation Award – Judged for excellence in the production of the team’s 3-5 minute video presentation. Although the content of the video presentation will be used to evaluate teams for the other “Judged” awards, the quality of the video itself will determine the recipient of this Presentation Award.
  • Ambassadorship Trophy – Recognizes a team that delivered the most effective Ambassadorship Campaign.  The Ambassadorship Challenge requires teams to plan & implement a STEM Outreach program with at least 100 younger students to share their project and provide a STEM learning experience for those students.
  • Square One Award – Given to the one team deemed best in the convergence of all performance challenges and judged categories, representing overall excellence in Innovative Vehicle Design. 

Join the challenge. 

Partner with Square One now to support an IVD Team.  IVD projects can be co-sponsored, both financially and with engineering expertise, by industry partners, university partners, or individual schools. The IVD program emphasizes innovation through friendly competition.

For fees associated with IVD program participation, please see each project’s individual page.


Register Here.

Sign your team up today!

“I am so proud to be a part of the Square One Education Network because it has further influenced my interest in engineering as a whole. I am always happy when I go to competition, whether we win or not because I believe that’s what Square One Education Network values, is for the up and coming engineers to have a wonderful experience involving engineering!”

C. Grant, Oak Park High School

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