The Historic Morganton Festival, Inc. is excited to announce the dates of the Fall 2023 Morganton Arts Design and Engineering (MADE) Competition. The event will take place on Friday, October 20th 2023 at the CoMMA Performing Art Center in downtown Morganton. Area Middle and High School students are invited to compete throughout the day in the onsite engineering challenge.
The Fall 2023 Engineering Design Challenge is now taking entry forms with a total of 15 school team spots available (5 students max per team – option of one team per school). In order to reserve your space, please contact Abby Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-438-5280. Spaces are limited.
Winning teams in both the middle and high school division will receive prize packages for 1st ($750) 2nd ($500) and 3rd ($250) place finishes. Prize packages totaling $3,000 go directly to the classroom to further technology education. In addition, each lead teacher (one per team) will receive a $250 stipend. All teams will receive a swag bag including items such as t-shirt, coupons, giveaways, etc. On site snacks and lunch will also be provided.
MADE is one of the most successful collaborations between education and industry partners. It gives Burke County students a chance to experience STEAM-based activities that build skills relevant to many of the area industries. MADE encourages students to think outside of the box and engages participants in critical thinking, design, engineering and innovation.
The Fall 2023 competition is generously supported by Work in Burke, City of Morganton, Burke County, Continental, Leviton, Opportunity Threads, Case Farms, Burke County Public Schools, TOSS, Western Piedmont Community College and NCSSM-Morganton.
This year’s MADE competition will be an onsite challenge where competing teams will create a product based on design criteria given to them on site. This design challenge will utilize problem solving techniques, building and assembling skills, budgeting, creativity and teamwork.
This year’s competitors will be given a design brief of the item to be built the Monday before the competition date (October 16). This will include tools that will be available on site, available materials and the theme of the item to be built. Teams will use this information to work together as a team to create the product within a specified budget.
Participants will be judged on several criteria including but not limited to quality of build, aesthetic and proper adherence to design parameters. Scoring particulars will be given to each team at the beginning of the competition day as part of their design brief.
Entry forms are due by October 4th or until all spots are filled.
In the news
HMF received an award at the North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events. The MADE Competition (Morganton, Arts, Design and Engineering) was awarded as “Best Event Associated with an Event” within the festival.
The NCAFE wants to recognize festivals that showcase events within the main festival that give those in attendance an even more unique experience. This award spotlights how “the event within the event” can be an additional support and increase engagement for the main festival.
The MADE Competition, which was first held in 2018, has since become an anticipated, yearly tradition for students who have a passion for arts, design and engineering. Historic Morganton Festival assistant director, Abby Nelson, developed the idea for the MADE Competition with hopes of incorporating engineering into an event that would engage a new crowd while also highlighting the area’s students.
Around the time of the competition’s inception, there were several announcements about industries expanding in Burke County as well as new companies moving to the area. Also, the North Carolina School of Science and Math had just announced that Morganton would be the new location for their western campus. In combination with these announcements and the already established engineering curriculum within Burke County Public Schools, charter and private schools, Nelson thought this would be a great idea to execute in the Morganton community during the annual Historic Morganton Festival, which historically brings 20,000-30,000 visitors to downtown Morganton over the two day event.
Nelson said, “To see how this competition has grown in only a few years, is very humbling and exciting. The support it has received from so many schools, businesses and individuals is the reason it has thrived. I am excited to see even more growth in the coming years and how this will postively affect the students and our community as a whole.”
The MADE Competition engages Burke County middle and high school students in critical thinking, design, engineering and innovation in a way that works toward meeting the needs of local industry while also highlighting the technological skill of Burke County students. In its few years of existence, MADE has already awarded over $20,000 directly to STEM education classrooms in Burke County. The competition changes each year to reflect new skills and abilities of students. The competitions that have taken place include – 2018 Eco Chair Challenge, 2019 Junkyard Challenge-Wind Turbines, Spring 2021 Lamp Design, Fall 2021 Rescue Robot Challenge and 2022 Assembly Line Challenge. MADE reached such success that it has since become a stand-alone event with this year’s competition taking place at CoMMA on Friday, October 20th.
Previous MADE Winners
2022 MADE Assembly Line Challenge Winners
2022 High School 1st Place ~ Patton High School
2022 High School 2nd Place ~ North Carolina School of Science and Math – Morganton
2022 High School 3rd Place ~ Freedom High School
2022 Middle School 1st Place ~ Liberty Middle School
2022 Middle School 2nd Place ~ Heritage Middle School
2022 Middle School 3rd Place ~ East Burke Middle School
2021 MADE Rescue Robot Challenge Winners
2021 High School 1st Place ~ North Carolina School for the Deaf (130 points)
2021 High School 2nd Place ~ East Burke High School (120 points)
2021 High School 3rd Place ~ Draughn High School (95 points)
2021 Middle School 1st Place ~ East Burke Middle School (120 points)
2021 Middle School 2nd Place ~ Heritage Middle School (115 points)
2021 Middle School 3rd Place ~ Liberty Middle School (90 points)
Spring 2021 Lamp Design Challenge
2019 MADE Junkyard Challenge Winners
2019 High School 1st Place ~ Freedom High School Team 1
2019 High School 2nd Place ~ Patton High School
2019 High School 3rd Place ~ Super Team
2019 Middle School 1st Place ~ East Burke Middle School Team 2
2019 Middle School 2nd Place ~ East Burke Middle School Team 1
2019 Middle School 3rd Place ~ Liberty Middle School
2018 MADE “ECO Chair” Challenge Winners
Thank you to all of the M.A.D.E. Sponsors. This competition would not be possible without your support.