COVID-19 Reporting and Information • HEERF I, II & III

Face Mask Challenge

Student wearing a face mask

The Challenge

Middle school students will work in a team of 3-5 people to design a better mask by modifying an existing mask design, or coming up with a brand-new way of creating mask protection. A Maximum of 10 teams will be allowed to registered, no more than 1 team per school.

Categories are:

  • Enhancement: Improvements to protection or consideration of protective features.
  • Creativity: New or out-of-the-box approaches.
  • Appearance: Visual appeal.

At the end of the challenge your team will present your design to the larger group for judging and feedback. Your design must be presented as a sketch on paper and also a simple prototype made from things you have nearby.

Throughout the month of February teams will be assigned a College of Engineering student mentor to help guide the teams in the design process.


Each team will submit a drawing and presentation of their design by Feb. 22nd. Drawings should be clear and easy to distinguish, students may either hand draw or computer illustrated their designs (program suggestions are but not limited to: Adobe Illustrator, Tinker CAD, Fusion 360, and Paint). Presentations should be between 3-5 minutes long. 

The Judging

(see 5-point rubric for detailed criteria)

All designs will be screened on the following:

  • Design team statement: (5 points) Team will make a short presentation on the core concept of their idea, what it is, and how it works.
  • Creativity: (5 points) Creative elements in the design, look or desirability.
  • Usability: (5 points) How will it be used? Does it increase mask use? Would it increase protection? Would it be reused or disposed?


Awards will be given for

  • Most Technical Designpk
  • Most Innovative Design
  • Most Appealing Design
  • Best Overall (could be a winner from one of the other categories)

Members of the winning teams will receive the following

  • A College of Engineering Prize Pack (pictures attached).
  • An award certificate.
  • An all-expense paid trip to Tennessee Tech Campus.

All Participates will receive a College of Engineering sticker pack.

Challenge Dates

  • Kickoff Event (for Teachers): Friday, January 22nd at 10:00 a.m.  on Teams. Click here to join the Teams meeting.
  • Presentation and Designs Due: Monday, February 22nd
  • The mask design challenge will be held live, virtually on Friday, February 26th at 9:00 a.m. (CST). (mask to be completed and ready to present)
  • Team registration will close on February 5th 
  • Team mentors will be assigned February 8th 

The 2021 Face Mask Challenge is co-sponsored by Shelby County Schools College & Career Technical Education.


Registration Form   Mentor Q&A   Judging Rubric

 Clay N. Hixson Student Success Center

College of Engineering

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