2022 TN Computer Science K-12 Mini-Design Challenge

Computer Science and You!

By registering for the CS Mini Design Challenge, you will receive an interactive digital booklet you can share with students. The booklet includes step-by-step instructions, resources, and videos to help roll out the challenge at your school.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is more than writing code or programming. It is a way to combine creative thinking and the power of computers to solve a wide variety of problems. The theme for this year’s challenge was inspired by the UN Sustainability Goal 3 to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Through creative and thoughtful problem solving, we hope Tennessee students will dream big as they imagine how computer science can positively impact not only themselves, but their whole community. Watch the video below for more information.

Why a Mini Design Challenge?


A Design Challenge empowers students to integrate prior knowledge, new discoveries, and the Engineering Design Process (EDP) to design, test, and improve a solution. This mini design challenge will allow students to begin this process by asking questions, researching their chosen topic, and imagining a solution. For those teams interested in pursuing the full design process to test and improve their solution, we suggest using this mini design challenge as a start for yearlong design challenges including the TSIN Statewide Design Challenge for K-12 and/or the Ecybermission challenge for 6th-9th grades. Make sure to check these challenges for further details and to determine how they may relate to this challenge.

The Challenge

We invite K-12 students to work in teams to consider how computer science can be used to help us develop healthier lives or promote general well-being for all. Topics can range from personal apps around healthy lifestyles, using data to make decisions for  public health, or engineering advanced medical devices. The topic is only limited by your imagination!

Students will work collaboratively to identify a problem and develop a plan, product, or system that demonstrates the benefits of using computer science to solve this problem. The problem can be personal, in their community, across the state, country, or the world. 

The challenge is open to all Tennessee K-12 students. Teams of students (2-4 students) will submit a proposal from local challenge winners, which may include student drawings, images, or videos to communicate their chosen problem and solution. Proposals will allow for grade appropriate expression of the student’s ideas. Deadline for proposals is October 28th, 2022.

Educators are asked to register for the challenge to receive step-by-step instructions, resources including the proposal template, and videos to help roll out the challenge at schools.  




Students might consider questions like these:


  • What affects your general well-being and the well-being of others in your community?
  • What health problems exist in your community, the state or country?
  • How can computers help people?
  • Where do you see computer science currently being used to help others?


Awards and Prizes


  • All finalists will be invited to attend the Computer Science Momentum Expedition December 5th, 2022 to share their ideas with industry experts and STEM educators. Travel stipends will be given to help teams attend. If a team cannot attend, a virtual opportunity will be offered.
  • Each team finalist will receive feedback on their solution and proposal.
  • Finalists’ designs will be featured on the TSIN blog to highlight and celebrate these amazing designers!

Winners in Elementary, Middle, and High School divisions will be announced at the Computer Science Momentum Expedition, and further highlighted on the TSIN website. Each winning team member will also receive an Apple iPad.

Additional Resources

  1. 2021-2022 Statewide Design Challenge Resources:

United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals [https://sdgs.un.org/goals]

  1. eCybermission Website

https://www.ecybermission.com/ [https://www.ecybermission.com/]

  1. Engineering Design Process

Explore the engineering design process here. [https://start-engineering.com/start-engineering-now/2019/4/3/8-great-videos-to-teach-the-engineering-design-process]


Everything you need to know about the CS Mini Design Challenge.

Who can participate?

The CS Mini Design Challenge is open to all students in Tennessee in all school environments (public, private, charter, home-school).

Do students work individually or on a team?

We recommend encouraging students to work in small teams of 2-4 students.

How are projects selected for the competitions?

Teams of students will submit a proposal from local challenge winners. Proposals will allow for grade appropriate expression of the student’s ideas. Deadline for proposals is October 28th, 2022.

Is there a cost to participate?

The CS Mini Design Challenge Digital Booklet is offered at no cost to participants.