The NEDC is an annual engineering design competition for students in grades 9–12. Teams of students design and build an assistive technology device to help a person with a disability.
How to Compete
The NEDC consists of three competition rounds. Teams must be registered before participating in any competition round. Additional and necessary forms for project submissions are available only to registered teams.
Round I: Research, Design and Construction – MS PowerPoint Presentation
All registered teams will complete, select a problem to solve, design, build and test their initial device and submit a PowerPoint Presentation of their device.
Top scoring Round I teams will advance to Round II and create a six minute video presentation about the research, design and construction of their device.
Round III: National Finals Competition, Washington, DC
The top five scoring Round II teams advance to the National Finals and will conduct a twenty minute presentation before a panel of judges and live audience. Presentations will focus on design audience, design and device function, research, safety, construction, marketability and presentation.
Your task is to design an assistive technology device that enables a person with a disability to improve their job performance, or allow them to obtain a job that they previously were unable to access.
Identifying a Problem
The problem your team chooses to solve must focus on workplace challenges encountered by a person with a disability.
To help get you started, use the compiled list of possible problems and jobs. Find a specific person in your community with one of the challenges listed who is experiencing a problem performing one of the jobs described. Design your device specifically to assist this person with his or her job. We recommend that you also test your device with this individual.
Arthritis: Joint immobility and pain
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Poor fine motor skills
Inability to Read
Short Term Memory Loss
Staying On Task
Judgment or Decision Making
Warehousing - Storing and retrieving product in a large area.
Kitting - Grouping items for assembly or delivery to the customer.
Assembly - Following instructions for joining items and components into final products.
Janitorial - Cleaning floors, offices and buildings.
Food Service - Serving food, busing tables and washing dishes.
Mail Room - Sorting and delivering mail.
Fleet Management - Performing maintenance on vehicles.
Laundry - Operating machines and sorting.
Grounds Maintenance - Mowing, trimming and landscaping.
It is strongly encouraged that each team work with an individual with a disability in the development and design of their device. The purpose of doing so is to ensure that the device is relevant and responsive to the workforce needs of an actual person with a disability. An engineer always designs for the customer and your customer is this person. We strongly recommend that you review and test your device with this individual and adjust your design based on their feedback for any of the scenario choices.
Now how to find someone.... If you do not have a person in mind at first, start a littleresearch. You can also ask around your school, neighborhood or local restaurants, shops, manufacturing plants etc. Below is a partial list of national agencies that can link you to a local chapter or organization. NEDC teams have found persons through some of these
GRAND RAPIDS CATHOLIC CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL WINS NATIONAL ENGINEERING DESIGN CHALLENGE