STEM Justice Innovation Design Challenge

Check back in next year for the 2020 STEM Justice Innovation Design Challenge!

Calling all artists, engineers, and innovators ages 14-25 who are passionate about social justice! Here’s your chance to design a solution to a global issue. Enter the first annual STEM Justice Innovation Design Challenge hosted by the Kitty Andersen Science Youth Center for a chance to win $1,000 and recognition at the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Youth Science Day!

What’s the contest all about?

The design challenge focuses on two main areas:

STEM Justice. At the KAYSC, STEM Justice is a movement to redefine STEM as a tool for addressing systems of oppression. It’s a framework we use within our organization for systems change through science education and workforce development.

Water Justice. As we face issues of water quality, variability, and scarcity, it is ever more important to educate others around local and global water issues - and why we should care about water. This challenge is an opportunity for youth and young adults to design an art piece focused on the subject of water.

Who can enter?

The contest is open to two age brackets:

High schoolers age 14-18
Young adults age 18-25

What can I win?

Six finalists will be awarded $200 to create their proposed art piece. Their work will be displayed in the Mississippi River Gallery at the Science Museum.

Out of the finalists, two Grand Prize Winners will be selected. Each Grand Prize is $1,000.

What’s the timeline?

1. Submit a written proposal of your art piece by May 31 (11:59 p.m. cutoff.)

2. Six finalists (three from each age group) be selected and notified by May 31. Each finalist 6 finalist will be awarded funds to construct their artwork.

3. Finalists have from June 15th-July 15 to create and submit their art piece.

4. The six finalist will have their artwork judged on Youth Science Day on July 18 at the Science Museum.

Two grand prize winners, one from each age bracket, will be chosen and announced at the Networking Hour on Youth Science Day from 5-6 p.m.

5. The finalists’ work will be displayed for 6 weeks in the Mississippi River Gallery at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

What are the criteria?

1. Design an innovative art piece that will:

     •Educate the general public through a social  justice lens
     •Provide an innovative solution, real or envisioned,  to any one of the following issues:

     Water quality issues: Water quality is a measure of the condition of water dependent on its intended use such as for drinking, recreation, sanitation, etc. Water quality issues arise as there are inequitable access to clean safe water.

     Water variability issues: Changes in the availability and distribution of water as a result of shifting climate patterns.  Water variability issues arise as low income communities and developing countries feel more of the weight on water variability issues.

     Water scarcity issues: Lack of access to sufficient and readily accessible water resources to meet demand. Water scarcity issues arise as low income communities and developing countries feel more of the weight on water scarcity issues.

     Water related topic of your choice

2. All finalists will be provided a shadow box frame with the dimensions: 11” x 14” X 2.9” (depth).  Artwork must fit inside this frame.

3. Entries must be the artists original design and will be judged based on originality (50%), educational content (25%), and real or envisioned  innovative solution (25%).

4. One submission per individual/group (up to two people per group).

5. Three finalist within the two age brackets (high school 14-17, young adult 18-25) will be chosen from proposals. Two grand prize winners (one within each age bracket) will be announced and honored on Youth Science Day.

6. Entrants must register and submit their work through

7. The artworks will be judged on their ability to inform and educate the general public and to provide a solution (real or envisioned). How the artwork will fulfill and portray these criteria is open to the artist's vision.

Ready to start designing?

Questions? Contact Junalee Ly at or (651) 221-4583.

Presenting Sponsor
Transit Partner
Metro Transit wordmark featuring their "T" logo.
jQuery(document).ready(function () {if(getCookie('currentSessionKey') != '') { setCookie('currentSessionKey', '', 0, 0, 3); setCookie('promptCounter', '0', 0, 0, 3); } var loginForm = document.getElementById('smm-tessitura-constituents-login'); var url = '/includes/cgaddon/cgui.php'; url += '?sessionid='; url += '&show=dialog'; if(loginForm && (loginForm.length) && (getCookie('promptCounter') == 0)) {document.getElementById('membershipModalOverlay').style.display = "block"; jQuery('#membershipModalBody').load(url);} else {document.getElementById('membershipModalOverlay').style.display = "none";} });