WOW! That's Engineering is the Society of Women Engineers' flagship conference for high school girls hosted by San Jose State University. We aim to inspire the next generation of women engineers and scientists. The two-day conference invites high school girls to learn about STEM and prepare for college through a variety of unique, engaging events, such as workshops, keynotes, and socials. We hope that the attendees leave with a new perspective about the engineering industry and view it under a positive light that it is a creative and booming field.


In your submission, please answer the 4 questions in the Project Story Area. You do not need to answer the "Inspiration, what it does, how we built it" fields.

Engineering Design Challenge

This year's conference will include a virtual engineering design challenge. In past years, we've had girls compete in teams to solve an engineering prompt within a matter of two hours. For this year's virtual conference, we're keeping the spirit alive through a prototype design challenge. In teams of up to two, submit a solution to a environmental problem in your community. We prioritize a unique and detailed solution over a working prototype.


We are well aware of some of the negative consequences of current industrial and environmental degrationa activities. Thus, as engineers and scientists, it is imperative that we address these problems in our comunities with forward-thinking, sustainable solutions.

Identify an environmental problem in your community and develop an engineering prototype. Here are just a few ideas and directions to boost your brainstorming.

  • Mechanical: Develop a prototype/model on Solidworks for a more cost-effective, efficient water filter.
  • Material: Pitch a redesign of a current product and the benefits of using a different material.
  • Chemical: Can berry dye be used to convert light energy into electrical energy for solar panels? 
  • Software: Utilize existing datasets and APIs to develop an interface that rates a building’s energy efficiency.

About Society of Women Engineers at SJSU:

The Society of Women Engineers of San Jose State University aims to create a strong community of women empowering each other in STEM fields. Some of our initiatives include technical talks, company tours, networking sessions, and outreach programs for high school and middle school students such as WOW! That's Engineering and SWE++. Through these events, we hope to foster female empowerment in engineering, prepare our members for industry, and create strong female leaders.


  • Must have registered through EventBrite to participate
  • Teams can be up to 2 members
  • Open to high school girls in California! Contact us at if from out of state. 


Your submission must include the following:

  1. Written submission
  2. Prototype (attach files, images, videos if applicable)

PDF Submission is also allowed. Download the template here


Background Information:

Team Member 1 Name
Team Member 1 High School, City
Team Member 1 Email

Team Member 2 Name
Team Member 2 High School, City
Team Member 2 Email

Project Information:

Project title
Brief explanation of your community's problem (~150 words)
Detailed explanation of your proposed solution and project progress (~300 words)
How your solution is unique from exisitng solutions (~150 words)
List any necessary tools, hardware, software

Hackathon Sponsors


$328 in prizes

Nintendo Switch Lite

Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Camera

Mini Projector

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Caitlyn Chau

Caitlyn Chau

Fiara Llaguno

Ohood Elbasheer

Nanar Boursalian

Nanar Boursalian

San Vu

Surabhi Gupta

Surabhi Gupta

Judging Criteria

  • Identify the Problem and Constraints
    The problem is identified and explained in detail. All criteria and constraints are listed and clarified. Possible solutions are listed. The work others have done to solve the problem is included.
  • Design Solution
    The solution is presented. Detailed explanation is provided for the solution. Visual aspects of the solution are presented. Reasons for the choice of the solution is provided.
  • Model or Prototype
    Detailed list of materials is included. Detailed procedures are included and followed. Materials are handled and stored appropriately. Safety rules are followed.
  • Test the Model and Evaluate
    Hypothesis following is developed for the design. Strengths and weaknesses of the design are listed. Results are accurately recorded. Data tables are complete and well organized. The chosen design effectively addresses the identified problem.
  • Refine the Design
    Modifications to improve the design are based on test results. Modifications to the design are documented. Additional trials are conducted. Reflections show great insight and understanding of process and goals of project.
  • Share the Design
    Submission is well-organized. Submission covers all areas of the design process. Information is clearly communicated with appropriate data, sketches, graphs or pictures.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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