Build Smart Challenge

For Students in Grades 7 - 12


Two-Hour Sessions

Race Day

About the Challenge

The Build Smart Challenge introduces middle and high school students to coding, circuits, and mechanical engineering all in one competition.

Over five sessions, students will experience the Engineering Design Process as they create their own, unique 3-D printed chassis, add a motor and pulleys, and then code a micro:bit to give it headlights, taillights, and speed control.

Then it’s off to the races! Students will put their chassis to the test on race day to compete for the grand prize.

Challenge Outline

Students will meet on site at AxiaTP’s office for each session from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

Session 1
March 16, 2022
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Designing and 3D Printing the Chassis

Students design their chassis in a computer-aided design (CAD) program for it to be 3D printed.

Session 2
April 13, 2022
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Meeting the Micro:bit

Students learn about the micro:bit, a pocket-sized computer, that they will program with code to run their kart.

Session 3
April 27, 2022
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Assembling Your Kart

Students assemble their printed karts to include the chassis, topper, axles, wheels, pulleys, etc.

Session 4
May 11, 2022
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Wiring and Programming Your Headlights and Taillights

Students code a micro:bit to simulate head and taillights, then use a breadboard to wire circuits. 

Session 5
June 15, 2022
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Wiring and Programming Your Variable-Speed Motor

Students code a micro:bit for variable speed motor, then add it to their breadboard circuits.

June 25, 2022
9 am – 12 pm


Race Day

Students will race their karts for a chance to win the grand prize. Winners announced for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes.

Behind the Challenge Curriculum

Our challenge curriculum is developed by our trusted partner, STEM Education Works. STEM Education Works is an education technology and curriculum provider headquartered in Lafayette, IN. They aim to put best-in-class STEM resources in the hands of every single student and teacher across the country, and works directly with schools, teachers, and educational organizations to provide hands-on learning experiences to prepare students for the future of work.

STEM Education Works curriculum aligns with modern STEM standards, including Computer Science Teachers Association, Standards for Technological Literacy, International Society for Technology in Education, Next Generation Science Standards, and Common Core State Standards.