2017-18 STEM Challenges

STEM Challenges are partnerships between industry and high schools which allow students to help solve authentic problems in the world today.  It is a research and design process that develops critical thinking and collaboration with peers and mentors.  Mentors from these organizations are working with students from ISTI's STEM Challenge partner schools over the course of the year to explore, create, and build innovative solutions. 


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AbbVie Foundation

Design solutions and interventions to improve medication adherence for patients with chronic or long-term conditions. Specifically, using AbbVie’s therapeutic focus areas, choose one of the following patient populations and focus areas to develop solutions: Seniors (age 65+) - Alzheimer's disease; Veterans - Hepatitis C Virus (HCV); or Young Adults - Celiac disease and Psoriasis.

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Baxter international inc.

Baxter would like to hear from you, as the next generation of scientists and innovators to either 1) Create or innovate a solution to address how developing countries receive supplies, train clinicians and patients, and use Baxter products. Consider such things as accessibility, environmental sustainability, infrastructure, culture, literacy, clean water, etc. or 2) Redesign a Baxter product to make it easier for patients to use at home. or 3) Create a community campaign around about how to prevent and treat kidney disease. Consider communities who are at a higher risk such as African American and Latino populations.



Create the construction site of the future. You will have to understand what a CAT® construction site looks like - what people, equipment, power systems, attachments, and technology are required, and how do they connect with or communicate with one another. 



Reimagine the way planned outage lessons learned are managed by using your research and innovation to design or build an app, tool, or system to collect and analyze data from planned power outages and improve outcomes.


Horizon Pharma

Develop a compact, patient-friendly, FDA approved travel case that can hold one glass vial, one oral syringe, and one Adaptacap™. Consider shipping methods, delivery logistics, storage, materials, patient travel, and patient daily use. Consider different patient populations, and their needs or limitations.


Illinois State University & Comed

Create a community of the future that uses renewable energy, smart meters, smart grids, and/or new innovative methods to create savings and sustainability for those living and working there.

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lenovo foundation

Create the smartphone of the future using your innovation to build, design, or adapt today’s current smartphone device. You can redesign the phone entirely, build or design your own Moto Mod to change the way the phone interacts with a user or an environment, or develop an app to enhance the phone’s capability.



Imagine, ideate, and create your own Chatbot, a robot programmed to respond to you like a human.  Use the bot to improve the community around you.



The world is moving toward being a battery or wireless power and data based society, and Molex would like you to create an innovation that impacts the spaces you use or the products you use to make them cordless, wireless, and unique to anything currently available.

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MOTOROLA Solutions foundation

Motorola Solutions is challenging students to investigate and recommend new mobile technology applications and tools that you might develop to help save lives and keep people safe in emergency and disaster situations.


Northrop Grumman Corporation

Build a space exploration probe / vehicle to explore various wormholes on a predetermined course using sensor technology.


State farm

State Farm invites you to identify a problem around a community issue that is relevant to the insurance and/or IT industry.  Draw on your own experiences and those in your community to identify areas for innovation.  Use one of the following product areas to focus on - Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, or Financial Services. 


Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Improve a challenge encountered by a patient in their treatment journey in one of Takeda's therapeutic areas. Research and explore to better understand symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and the quality of life that patients face.  

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Uptake is seeking your perspective about what they can learn about students, from students. Your Challenge is to use Student Union as a jumping off point to develop your own data and conclusions about what factors contribute to, and might help to predict future student success.