Texas Tech University

2014 Middle School STEM Challenge

STEM Challenge Logo

The Texas Tech University STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education and the Lubbock Independent School District joined forces to host the 2014 Middle School STEM Challenge. The Challenge pitted seven LISD middle schools against each other in a weeklong competition to design, construct, and race boats made only of cardboard and duct tape.

Each school sent a science teacher and four students to represent their campus in the competition. Texas Tech provided one undergraduate student to join each team in addition to providing a few "experts" to guide the teams throughout the week. The Challenge culminated in a final competition held at the LISD Pete Ragus Aquatic Center where the watercraft were put to the test in front of a panel of Texas Tech professors and staff as well as a large number of community supporters.

Media Coverage

The Challenge was an outstanding success, and we were fortunate enough to receive some great coverage from local, LISD, and TTU media outlets. Use the links below for stories, photos, and video accounts of the 2014 Middle School STEM Challenge:


  1. O.L. Slaton Middle School - 0:59
    Dwyer Cup Winners
  2. Evans Middle School - 1:05
  3. Smylie Wilson Middle School - 1:14
  4. Atikins Middle School - 1:28
    Mr. Wallace Award Winners
    (last to sink)
  5. Talkington School for Young Women Leaders - 1:32
  6. Mackenzie Middle School -
    no time, completed 1/2 course
  7. Irons Middle School -
    no time, did not successfully launch

Participating Schools


  • TTU STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education
  • National Science Foundation
  • Lubbock Independent School District
  • The Halliburton Foundation

Sharing the STEM Challenge

Teachers and parents, are you interested in bringing the STEM Challenge to your school? We have compiled the materials below to give you a start in the right direction. Please contact us if you have any questions. The materials are free to use - we just ask that you let us know if you decide to use them and send us lots of photos!

STEM Challenge Flyer
View the PDF Flyer
Competition and Awards Ceremony Invitation
View the PDF Invitation
The Dwyer Cup
Students and teachers competed to bring home the Dwyer Cup to their schools for the 2014-15 school year. The cup is named after TTU STEM-CORE Director and Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Jerry Dwyer, in recognition of his efforts and dedication in improving STEM education for Lubbock students.

Contact Information

For more information, e-mail Jessica Spott, Senior Project Administrator, TTU STEM-CORE.