North Iowa students compete in the first official Engineering Design contest to be held in the state

Brett Bachtle
Created: February 17, 2020 07:31 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS)--Using their best problem-solving skills, on Monday students across North Iowa competed in Minnesota State’s Engineering Machine Design Contest.

Teams were required to design and build a complex machine that uses multiple steps to complete a simple task. This theme for 2020 was space exploration.


For the teams of students who have worked for weeks, some months on their creations, it’s a big day.

“There was a lot of frustrating days where we didn’t get any steps done or we had setbacks and it was difficult,” said Rockford High School student Kyra Nobbs.

“You never know what’s going to happen and you never know if everything is going to go right in our machine,” said Rockford High School student Kayla Carroll.

“I felt sick because I was just like waiting and waiting and waiting and we were the last group to go too so we were just watching everyone else go and we were hoping that we didn’t have as many touches as we saw other groups have. So, sitting there just waiting all day was really anxious,” Nobbs said.

St. Ansgar High School science teacher Devin Schwiesow brought this type of event to north Iowa five years ago. This year was the first time an official engineering design contest has been held in the state of Iowa.

“I think project-based learning is really important in schools. I think the social component of them getting together, working through problems, the whole engineering design concept I think is really important,” said Schwiesow.

The top four teams from the regional competition will move on to the Midwest championship where the winner there will have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Minnesota Twins game.

St. Ansgar took first place, Sumner-Fredericksburg grabbed second and Northwood-Kensett came in third. For full results from this year, visit this page

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