Challenge Day

Materials Needed to Run a Challenge

Make sure your team is on the same page for the plan for the day. Send an email to the team the day before the event with reminders about arrival time, parking, food, and what to bring.

Items to Print

Item Details
Signs & Posters 8-10 to direct attendees to entrance, check-in and rooms
Sheet 2-3 for front table during arrival
Schedules For teams, coaches, judges, and volunteers
Rulebook Just a couple for reference
Wind Judging Forms: PDF Version & Google Version and/or Solar Judging Form Enough for each judge and each team plus a bunch of extras
Wind Tunnel Power Tracking Document Enough for each team, plus some extras
Instant Challenge or Knowledge Test Instructions & Materials Enough for each team, plus some extras
Participation Certificates: Wind Certificate, Solar Certificate, and Wind & Solar Certificate Depends on how you decide to distribute

Items to Gather

Item Details
Wind Tunnel Give yourself plenty of time for set-up
Extension Cords & Power Strips Bring a lot for wind tunnels, tool table, etc.
Scissors & Tape Bring several, you’ll need them!
Tools for Tool Table See setting up the tool table below
Prizes or Trophies Be sure to recognize growth as well as performance


Leave yourself plenty of time for the load in and set up. If possible, do this the day before.

1. Set up arrival table

  • Have a clearly marked place for teams, coaches, parents, and/or media to check-in for arrival.
  • At this table you should have: Sign-in sheet, all documents being handed out to the teams, directions for where the teams should go to get settled.
  • One member of your team should be at this table at all times.

2. Set up wind tunnel

  • Give yourself plenty of time to set up the wind tunnel.
  • You’ll need a power source, extension cords, and power strips.
  • Check out this video for help with the Vernier tunnel.

3. Set up data collection hardware

  • Set up a table/scoring area for the judges running the tunnel.
  • Mark off an area around the tunnel to indicate where observers can watch.
  • If you anticipate a line (which you should!) mark off the area for a line and tape off the waiting area.

4. Set up Instant Challenge areas

  • Prepare any materials you need for instant challenges.
  • Brief the team member(s) that will be facilitating/judging this event.
  • Post signs to direct teams to the area.
  • Post a schedule for the room on the door.

5. Set up Judges Rooms

  • You will want enough space for the judges to be able to take notes privately and for the teams to showcase their design.
  • Post sign to direct people to this room.
  • Post a schedule for the room on the door.

6. Set up team holding area

  • You will want a space for each team to keep their things, eat their snacks, and set down their turbines/devices.
  • We suggest assigning areas/tables per team to keep things orderly!

7. Set up the Tool Table

  • Your tool table should have community materials (tape, paper, dowels, plates, cups, markers, pencils) and basic tools in case of repairs (soldering, hot glue guns, hand saw, staplers).
  • You’ll need to be near a power source for the glue guns.
  • Don’t forget some cardboard to put down for the hot glue!
  • We suggest putting this table in the space where the teams will be held and giving it a lot of room, since it can become pretty busy!

8. Meet with volunteers, team members, and judges

  • Run through introductions and the plan for the day.
  • Be sure everyone has their assignments.
  • Explain any rules/procedures.
  • Provide everyone with schedules, directions, and judging documents.
  • Walk through judging process with judges.
  • Send everyone to get settled in roles.

Get to it!

Once teams arrive, we suggest beginning the day with a brief welcome & introduction to share where events are happening, the schedule for the day, and set the tone. This is a good time to explain the wind tunnel procedure. Be sure to conclude this meeting with plenty of time for teams to make it to their first event.

After that, the day becomes a bit of a whirlwind! Be sure to check in with your team to ensure they are comfortable, and don’t forget to eat!