Official Rules

Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge

Pilot Program, January - June 2018
Last update: January 18, 2018

The Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge (Challenge) is a design concept competition and educational program hosted by the Biomimicry Institute (Institute).

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE

  • Students in US equivalent grades 6-8 (commonly “middle school”) and 9-12 (commonly “high school”).
  • Students must enter as a Team of 2 - 8 student members with 1 or 2 adult Coaches who are authorized to communicate with the Institute on behalf of the Team.
  • Teams may be comprised of students from assorted grades as long as all members are within one grade band: 6-8 (middle school) or 9-12 (high school).
  • Teams may be comprised of students from assorted schools if participating in an out-of-school program.
  • No student may participate on more than one Team.
  • Coaches must be adults over the age of 18 who are U.S. citizens.
  • Coaches may be classroom teachers, homeschool teachers, parents/guardians or educators working in any informal education environment, such as a museum or nature center.
  • Coaches may advise multiple Teams.
  • All minors participating in the Youth Design Challenge must do so with parental/guardian consent. Such consent is assumed if you are coaching your team(s) as part of classroom instruction or another school or organization program. If you are working with a group of students independently, you must obtain written consent from their parents/guardians prior to engaging them in the Challenge.


HOW TO REGISTER AND ENTER

Coaches are responsible for registering and submitting their teams’ final competition entry. Student Team members do not directly register or submit work to the Challenge.

  • Coaches must register on the Challenge website, where they will identify themselves and the setting in which they will be coaching their Team(s).
  • Once registered, Coaches will receive resources with which to guide their Teams in preparing a Challenge entry.
  • If a team has two Coaches, one of the Coaches must be designated as “Lead Coach” and assume responsibility for submitting and approving the Team’s entry on the Challenge website. If a team has only one Coach, they are by default the “Lead Coach.”
  • Lead Coaches must submit their Teams’ entries using the guidelines and tools provided on the challenge website and in the Coaches’ Handbook .
  • Only one entry is permitted per Team.
  • If a Coach is advising more than one Team, each Team must submit a unique entry.
  • All entries must be the students’ own original work. If any copyrighted materials are used in the submission they must be properly credited and follow U.S. Fair Use guidelines.
  • Entries must be received via the challenge website by 5pm (PST) on May 1, 2018
  • The Institute reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify or refuse to display any entry it deems to be offensive, inappropriate, or not in keeping with the Institute’s image.

CONDITION OF ENTRY

By registering and submitting an entry, each Team (collectively the Coach(es), student team members, and minor team members’ parents or guardians) grants to Institute and its designees the right to display the submitted entry materials, photographs, and team biographical information (including names, school names, grades, city and state) on the Challenge website. The Institute may also use such photographs and information, with appropriate attribution, for educational or research purposes, advertising and promotion, or any other legal purposes, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity without further notice, permission, or compensation, except where prohibited by law.


SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRIES

Entries must employ biomimicry (nature-inspired innovation) in addressing a specific social and/or environmental issue related to climate change. Refer to the Design Brief for details.

Entries must consist of the following, which are submitted via an online Entry Form. Review the Coaches’ Handbook for details and suggestion regarding the specific content of each item.

  • Project Overview. Teams must supply written answers to the following questions, which will be displayed in a gallery of submissions on the Challenge website (max 100 words each): 1) What is the problem your team addressed for this challenge and how is it related to climate change? 2) What does your design solution do and how does it solve improve the problem you selected? 3) How was your solution inspired by nature? What organisms did you learn from and how did what you learn inform your design?
  • Video Pitch. (3 min max) The video must be uploaded to the video sharing website, Vimeo, and made available for public viewing. The submission form will collect a link to the video. The video will be displayed in a gallery of submissions on the Challenge website.
  • Project Image. (JPG) A drawing, diagram, or photograph of a prototype that clearly portrays the design solution. The image must be provided in JPG format. This image will be displayed in a gallery of submissions on the Challenge website.
  • Team Photo. (JPG) An image depicting the members of the Team and their Coach(es). The image must be provided in JPG format. This image will be displayed in a gallery of submissions on the Challenge website. NOTE: At time of entry, Coach must certify that they have received permission from a parent/guardian of all pictured team members to share the image.
  • Process Journal (PDF):  A collection of images with accompanying text that tells the story of the Team’s design process. NOTE: At time of entry, Coach must certify that they have received permission from a parent/guardian of all team members pictured in the Process Journal to share such images. 

JUDGING

First Place, Second Place, and Third Place award winners will be selected from among all eligible entries in two rounds of judging. Preliminary round selections will be made by participating Coaches, based on a numerical point system correlated to the Youth Design Challenge Rubric. Coaches may not judge their own Team(s) or any other Team that would represent a conflict of interest. The top 10 entries (based on numerical score) in each category (middle school and high school) will advance to a second round of judging. The Final selection of award winners, from among the 10 finalists in each category, will be made by a panel of judges comprised of Biomimicry Institute staff and selected biomimicry subject matter experts.


AWARDS

Cash awards will be made to selected entries as indicated below.

Middle School Awards

  • 1st Place - $1,000
  • 2nd Place- $750
  • 3rd Place - $500

High School Awards

  • 1st Place - $1,000
  • 2nd Place- $750
  • 3rd Place - $500

Award funds are disbursed in the form of a lump sum check addressed to the Lead Coach or another designee selected by the Lead Coach. It is the responsibility of the Lead Coach to inform the Institute how the check should be addressed, and to encourage that the funds are utilized in a fair and agreeable manner that rewards all Team members (e.g. divided evenly, used to fund a celebratory event or experience, etc.). Although we cannot dictate how the funds are used, it is our intention that all winning Team members will receive some mutual benefit of this award.


GENERAL AWARD CONDITIONS

Each award recipient is solely responsible for any and all taxes as deemed applicable by the IRS tax regulations on the prize and/or award. Internal Revenue Code states that under certain circumstances the value of prizes and awards to individuals is considered taxable income. The award recipient will be required to submit to the Biomimicry Institute a completed IRS form W9, which includes social security number, to be used for issuing a 1099 for tax purposes. The recipient will receive a Form 1099-Misc from the Biomimicry Institute on any award over $600.    In addition, each award recipient will also be required to sign and return a prize/award acceptance form including an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (“Affidavit and Release”) within seven (7) days of receipt of the Affidavit and Release or the prize may be forfeited and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, awarded to another winner.

By accepting the prize, each winner grants to Institute and its designees the right to use his or her name, photograph, likeness, and biographical information (including grade, school name, hometown, and state), for purposes of advertising and promotion, or any other legal purposes, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity without further notice, permission, or compensation, except where prohibited by law.

One or more winners may be asked to attend and participate in media and/or public relations events (the “Media Events”) designated by Institute and/or requested by various media outlets. Upon Institute’s request, and subject to winner’s availability, each winner agrees to participate in such Media Events without any further compensation. However, the Institute will cover travel expenses related to media events. Institute shall have the right, in its sole discretion, to choose the winners it wishes to participate in such Media Events. By accepting the prize, all winners, whether or not chosen to participate in such Media Events, agree to release Institute and its employees, directors, and officers, and hold each of them harmless, from any claims relating to the respective winner’s selection, non-selection, participation, or non-participation in any Media Events.

The Coach may be asked to submit testimonials, photos, and other materials for use in promoting the program, and if the Coach submits such materials, he or she agree that the license above with respect to the entry shall cover such submission.


DISCLAIMER

Coach and participants agree to hold harmless the Institute and its officers, directors, agents and employees from and against any and all losses, damages, obligations, liabilities, claims, expenses, fees (including attorneys’ fees), costs and judgments arising out of, based upon or resulting from participation in the Youth Design Challenge. Further, Coaches are not deemed agents of the Institute and carry no authority, rights, or representation on behalf of the Institute.