What’s Next for the Challenge?

Thank you to all of the students and mentors that participated in the Fall 2021 NeuroMaker Challenge! NeuroMaker has scheduled a live awards ceremony to recognize your hard work on Friday February 4th at 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. Registration for this event can be found below. This event will be recorded for those unable to attend the event.

2021 Fall NeuroMaker Challenge Awards Ceremony Registration

Countdown to Challenge Submissions

The next round of the NeuroMaker Challenge will close on Thursday June 30th, 2022.

What is The NeuroMaker Creative Challenge?

The NeuroMaker Creative Challenge is an annual, open design competition for Middle and High School students which runs twice a year, in June and December, to coincide with the spring and fall semesters.

This competition is open to students around the world in order to investigate the connections between Biomedical Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Programming and more.

Students select a problem to investigate from a theme announced by the NeuroMaker judging committee. Students form teams, conduct research on this problem, build a prototype and then virtually submit their results in a short scientific report and video.

The committee will select six finalists, three from middle school submissions and three from high school submissions. Each group of first, second and third place finalists respectively receive $1,500, $750 and $500 and recognition from Harvard and MIT alumni educators and scientists. Five additional awards are available to teams that recognize important engineering and personal growth traits such as empathy, creativity and perseverance. 

Registration in the NeuroMaker Creative Challenge is free for any student team that has purchased the NeuroMaker Hand or NeuroMaker BCI from an approved sales channel.

NeuroMaker Challenge Updates

We are very proud of the 2020 NeuroMaker Challenge submissions! As a thank you to all of the educators and students that have worked hard on their projects, we are happy to announce the following updates to the 2021 NeuroMaker Challenge:

NeuroMaker will be awarding a total of $10,000 to our challenge participants! These will be distributed as follows

High School Category Finalists

  • First Prize $1500
  • Second Prize $750
  • Third Prize $500

Middle School Category Finalists

  • First Prize: $1500
  • Second Prize $750
  • Third Prize $500

Also, an additional $5,000 of NeuroMaker supplies will also be provided to challenge participants!

NeuroMaker Challenge Outline

Unlimited Assistive Technology

From comfort blankets all the way to brain embedded microchips, there are countless examples of how technology improves the lives of those living with disabilities. If you can identify an item like this in your community, congratulations! You now have made your first discoveries in the growing field of assistive technology!

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) defines Assistive technology (AT) as 

“Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.”

These can range from robots that dispense medicine to people in hospitals to brain controlled wheelchairs. In fact the ATIA provides these wonderful examples:

  • AT can be low-tech: communication boards made of cardboard or fuzzy felt.
  • AT can be high-tech: special-purpose computers.
  • AT can be hardware: prosthetics, mounting systems, and positioning devices.
  • AT can be computer hardware: special switches, keyboards, and pointing devices.
  • AT can be computer software: screen readers and communication programs.
  • AT can be inclusive or specialized learning materials and curriculum aids.
  • AT can be specialized curricular software.
  • AT can be much more—electronic devices, wheelchairs, walkers, braces, educational software, power lifts, pencil holders, eye-gaze and head trackers, and much more.

What could the future of assistive technology look like with advanced prosthetics and brain computer interfaces? That is the question the NeuroMaker judging committee would like to pose to you as you research, define, ideate, prototype, refine and present!

Your NeuroMaker Challenge:

Research: Discover issues facing people with disabilities around the world and imagine what methods we can take to improve their life with technology. Use different learning resources to empathize with the issues facing people in this community.

Define: Out of these discovered issues, choose one to focus your efforts. Identify the user, their needs and any insights that can provide design opportunities.

Ideate and Prototype: Brainstorm different solutions to the issue you have identified. Using the NeuroMaker Hand, NeuroMaker BCI and other resources at your disposal, create material prototypes that demonstrate the effectiveness of your solution.

Refine and Present: Test your prototypes and document your learning and design process. When ready, create a video and written summary of your solution and submit these to NeuroMaker engineers for review.

Recognition and Development: Attend our virtual awards ceremony and learn how others have solved the issues they have defined. Win cash prizes to further refine your solution and gain recognition from real assistive technology engineers.

Have Your Materials and Ready to Register Your Team? Sign Up Below!

Please sign up for the challenge via the NeuroMaker Creative Challenge sign up form.

NeuroMaker Creative Challenge Judging Committee

Bicheng Han

BrainCo and BrainRobotics Founder, MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35, Harvard Center for Brain Science Alumni

Dr. Wasifa Jamal

BrainCo Senior Research Scientist, MIT Brain and Cognitive Science Postdoctoral Associate, MIT Translational Fellow 2015-2016

Max Newlon

BrainCo US President, Harvard Ed.M in Human Development and Psychology

Andrew Bannish

Harvard Ed.M in Technology, Innovation and Education, Preferred Robotics Entry Policy Creator

NeuroMaker Creative Challenge Results

After nearly a year of hard work from students around the world, the NeuroMaker Challenge judges are pleased to announce the results of the 2020 NeuroMaker Creative Challenge! Please review some of our award winning candidates below

Winning Project Spotlight

High School First Place

Team Name: Team River Hill

School: River Hill High School, Maryland

*Please note: The original submission was 2 minutes long. This video provides more context on the experiment that was only provided after the judging committee reached their decision.

High School Winning Submissions


High School First Place

Team Name: Team Valor

School: Valor High School, Colorado

High School Second Place

Team Name: Team Banning

School: Phineas Banning High School, California

High School Third Place

Team Name: Team Commodores

School: Perry Central High School, Indiana

Middle School Winning Submissions

Middle School First Place

Team Name: Team Blue

School: Vinci Robotics Academy, Massachusetts

Middle School Second Place

Team Name: Serious EXM

School: Pleasant Hill Middle School, South Carolina

Middle School Third Place

Team Name: The Four Mighty Penguins

School: Pleasant Hill Middle School, South Carolina

Interested in the NeuroMaker Challenge?

Contact us and we’ll get back to you!