Texas Tech University

Middle School STEM Challenge

STEM Challenge Logo

2021 STEM Challenge Winners:

MacKenzie Middle School

MacKenzie Middle School

The Texas Tech University STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education and the Lubbock Independent School District joined forces again to host the 2021 Middle School STEM Challenge. The Challenge pits ten LISD middle schools against each other in a weeklong competition to design and build life-sized boats out of nothing but cardboard and duct tape. The boats were raced by the middle school students on Friday at the competition.

Each school sends a math or science teacher and four students to represent their campus in the competition. Texas Tech provides 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 where the boats are put to the test! 

STEM Challenge Group

Interested in being involved?

Texas Tech Students wanting to serve as TTU Mentors, email Jessica Spott. LISD students, please contact your designated math or science teacher. They are the ones recruiting their teams!

 Participating Schools


The Dwyer Cup

*Students and teachers compete to bring home the Dwyer Cup to their schools for the following academic year. The cup is named after former STEM CORE Director and Professor, Dr. Jerry Dwyer, in recognition of his efforts and dedication in improving STEM education for Lubbock students.


  • TTU STEM Center for Outreach, Research & Education (STEM CORE)
  • Lubbock Independent School District (LISD )

Contact Information

For more information, please e-mail STEM CORE.

Previous Winners

  • 2014: O.L. Slaton Middle School
  • 2015: MacKenzie Middle School
  • 2016: O.L. Slaton Middle School
  • 2017: Hutchinson Middle School
  • 2018: Evans Middle School
  • 2019: Irons Middle School
  • 2020: COVID-19
  • 2021:MacKenzie Middle School