National Engineers Week 2020 – Chattanooga Area Activities

2019-2020 Robotics Competitions Season

From December through March, there are four groups of robotic tournaments in the Chattanooga and surrounding area:

(1) FIRST – “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”

(2) The VEX Robotics Events

(3) MATE Underwater Robotics

(4) Green Prix

FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Events

FIRST Lego League is a non-profit, 30-year old international youth organization that operates FIRST Lego League Junior, FIRST Lego League, FIRST Technology Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition. The League introduces young people, ages 9 to 14 (grades 4-8) to the fun and excitement of science and technology. Each fall, FLL releases a new Challenge, which is based on a real-world scientific topic. Teams of up to ten children, with two adult coaches participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to complete tasks on a themed playing ‘field’ created by FLL and developing a solution to a problem they have identified. This season, two local FLL events were scheduled. The first involved qualifying tournaments around the Chattanooga area in early December of last year and the second is a championship tournament planned for early February at Chattanooga State Community College. These two events are sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Robotics.

FIRST Lego League Junior (FLL Jr) Robotics Events

It’s never too early to discover science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). FIRST LEGO League Junior is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO®.

Guided by adult coaches and FIRST® Core Values, students build models using LEGO®Education WeDo 2.0 and create Show Me posters to present what they learned. The program focuses on building interest in science, technology, engineering and math through a real-world challenge – to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination.

FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) Robotics Events

It’s way more than building robots. FIRST Tech Challenge teams (up to 15 team members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and working as a team. Robot kits are reusable from year to year and can be computer coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming. Teams design and build robots, raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach to earn specific awards. Participants are eligible to apply for college scholarships from an $80 million scholarship fund.

Each season concludes with regional championship events and an exciting FIRST Championship. This year there are four Chattanooga area FTC teams. These teams will participate in either of two State Championships

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Robotics Events

Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

Each season ends with an exciting FIRST Championship.

FIRST Robotics Competition Schedule of Events

January 4 (Saturday), 2020 – FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff Events are held in Knoxville, Huntsville and at the Chattanooga STEM School. (See link here:

February 8 (Saturday), 2020 – FIRST Tech Challenge, Tennessee State Championship, MTSU, Alumni Gym, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

March 18 – 21 (Wednesday – Saturday), 2020 – FIRST Robotics Competition, Memphis Regional, Collierville High School, 11605 E Shelby Drive, Collierville, TN 38017

March 25 – 28 (Wednesday – Saturday), 2020 – FIRST Robotics Competition, Smoky Mountain Regional, Thompson-Boling Arena – University of Tennessee

April 1 – 4 (Wednesday – Saturday), 2020 – FIRST Robotics Competition, Rocket City Regional, Von Braun Center, 700 Monroe ST SW, Huntsville, AL, 35801

For information about these FIRST events Contact Richard Manning at

VEX Robotics Events

Elementary and middle school is the most formative time in a young student’s life. The best way to instill a lifelong interest in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) is to provide a fun, engaging, and hands-on opportunity to explore and experience it for themselves. VEX IQ is a robotics platform designed to transform the STEM learning paradigm for young students (grades 4-8) and their teachers. When students have the ability to jump right in and snap robots together using this intuitive tool-less system, it can unlock a curiosity and a passion that will stay with them for life.

By its nature, the study of robotics inherently incorporates all four pillars of STEM. VEX IQ is a snap-together robotics system designed from the ground up to provide this opportunity to future engineers of all skill levels. By packaging advanced concepts into an accessible package, the system also naturally encourages teamwork, problem solving, and leadership for students as young as second grade.

VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) Events

In the VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, teams of middle and high school students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels and culminate at the VEX Robotics World Championship in April.

VEX Robotics Competition Schedule of Events

VEX IQ Regional Tournament at Volkswagen Saturday, January 18, 2020
VEX VRC Tournament at Chattanooga Christian on Friday February 7 and Saturday, February 8. 2020

Questions? Get in touch with Samantha Travis by email: or phone: 423-697-5514.

Marine Advanced Technology Education (Mate)

This is a new underwater robotics competition sponsored by the Tennessee Aquarium. Here’s some information about MATE:
The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center was established with funding from the National Science Foundation in 1997. MATE’s mission is to use marine technology to inspire and challenge students to learn and creatively apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to solving real-world problems in a way that strengthens critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

A MATE Underwater Robotics training sessions will on Friday, January 31 and Saturday February 1, 2020 at Howard Connect Academy.

The schedule of subsequent MATE activities will be posted here as they become available.

The Green Prix is an electric car (e-car) competition

Hands-On STEM Learning for Students Ages 9 – 18. After receiving a box of parts and instructions, teams of students over the course of the school year will design, build and race electric power race cars. Students are assigned roles ranging from project manager, parts manager, marketing and public relations and drivers. They learn about how renewable energy can be used to charge their batteries and are encouraged to use recycled materials on the body of the car! The events are divided into three age groups: 9-11 years old, 12-14year old and 15-18 year old.
The competition is sponsored by green|spaces. Here’s a link:

Green Prix schedule of Events

Green Prix at Chattanooga State Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7, 2020

MATHCOUNTS Competition

MATHCOUNTS is a nationwide math coaching and competition program for 7th and 8th grade students. It promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging “bee” style contests. It is one of three programs of the MATHCOUNTS Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides engaging math programs to U.S. middle school students of all ability levels in order to build confidence and improve attitudes towards math and problem solving. The foundation recognizes that middle school students exist at a critical juncture in which their love for mathematics must be nurtured and their fear of mathematics must be overcome. The foundation consists of three programs: a National Math Club, a Math Video Challenge and a MATHCOUNTS competition Series – of which the Chattanooga event is a part of. The MATHCOUNTS competition Series in Tennessee is sponsored by Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE)

This year the 2020 MathCounts Chattanooga Competition will be held on Saturday February 8th at the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA). Signs will guide you to the testing location from the main entrance of the school. The address is:

Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy
1802 Bailey Avenue,
Chattanooga, TN 37404

All competition materials will be supplied, but students should bring calculators. Calculators are not permitted in the Sprint or Countdown Rounds, but they are permitted in the Target, Team and Masters Rounds. Where calculators are permitted, students may use any calculator that does not contain a QWERTY (i.e., typewriter like) keypad. Calculators that have the ability to enter letters of the alphabet but do not have a keypad in a standard typewriter arrangement are acceptable.
The agenda of the competition will be as follows:

• Registration will begin at 8:30 AM.

• The competition will begin at 9:00 AM.

• Lunch will be at 11:00. We will have pizza, chips, soda, and deserts for the children (including sugar free), but if any children have special dietary needs, just let me know and I’ll be glad to accommodate them.

• The speed round will begin after lunch at 11:30 PM, and awards will be presented following that competition (parents are welcome to attend).

• The competition should conclude at 12:30 PM.

In the event of severe weather in our Chapter area, the competition will be rescheduled for safety and all teams will be notified.

For further information get in touch with Jeff Parris, Chattanooga Chapter MATHCOUNTS Coordinator, by email: or by phone: 423-503-8766.

Also, for more general information visit and

Tour of Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy

As part of Engineers Week, the Million Women Mentors -TN and Chatech Women invite you to a tour of Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA), 1802 Bailey Ave., Chattanooga, TN
New information about this program are currently not available. However, it will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.

Engineers Week Kick-off Luncheon

The Engineers Week Kick-off Luncheon starts off the celebration of Engineers Week for the Chattanooga Area. It is an event that highlights the contribution of engineering to the betterment of the world and encourages participants to recognize the importance of their work.

Date: Monday, February 17, 2020 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Location: UTC University Center
Speaker: Mary Beth Hudson, Vice President of Wacker Polysilicon / Site Manager Charleston TN
Topic: TBD

Award Nominations

As an integral part of the Awards Banquet, Engineers Week provides each year an opportunity for the local technical and engineering community to submit award nomination forms. The nominations would acknowledge person in that community for their engineering achievements, their professional reputation and their contribution to the general welfare of the local community. The 2020 Chattanooga Area Engineer’s Week Awards committee invites you to identify, select, and nominate a candidate for one of the Engineers Week Awards below. Please complete the appropriate nomination form and return it via email by Friday, February 1.

Winners will be announced during the E-Week Awards Banquet. General qualifications are shown here but see the nomination forms for more details.


  • Outstanding Engineer of the Year
  • Young Engineer of the Year
  • Technician of the Year
  • People to People
  • Engineering Leadership

Nomination forms are available by clicking here
Nomination deadline: Saturday, February 1, 2020
Submit nominations to

For questions, call Bryan Eldridge at work:(423)238-7111 ext. 56294 or at home:(423)834-0653
or email

Engineers Week Awards Banquet

The Engineers Week Awards Banquet provides an opportunity to honor each year a number of persons who have been recognized by their peers as having made outstanding contributions to their profession, to public welfare and to humankind.

Date/Time: Thursday, February 20, 2020 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Marriott Downtown Ballroom, Two Carter Plaza, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Speaker: LT. Col. Sonny B. Avichal, Commander of the Nashville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Topic: TBD

Both the Kick-off Luncheon and the Awards Banquet are a collaborate effort among a number of technical organizations and the support of sponsors from the Chattanooga area. Organizations

Focus Friday

As part of UTC’s celebration of National Engineers Week, the UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science is pleased to host “Focus Friday”. It is a half day of fun, food and information. Prospective high school students, their parents and educators can tour the engineering building and laboratories and meet UTC faculty and representatives in their major of choice. Students also have the opportunity to talk to representatives from Admissions, Housing, Financial Aid and Scholarships offices. There will also be tours of the UTC campus, residence halls and the UTC Library.
The schedule and other details about the 2020 program are currently not available. However, it will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad is an elementary school, middle school and high school team competition in which students compete in demonstration events pertaining to various scientific disciplines, including earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering.

The local regional event will take place Saturday, February 22, 2020 at Chattanooga State Community College

For more information click here: National Science Olympiad and Tennessee Science Olympiad

Questions? Get in touch with Dr. Ian Beck by email: or phone: >a href=”tel:4236972550″>(423) 697-2550 (office)

STEM Day for Girls

“STEM Day for Girls” are day-long events for girls in grades 6-8 and grades 9-12 who are interested in STEM programs (Science – Technology – Engineering – Math). They are designed for school groups, scout groups, youth groups and individual girls. The overall vision of STEM Day is to motivate middle school and high school girls interested in STEM careers to become innovative and creative thinkers and to pursue careers in this area by introducing them to college life through a series of hands-on activities and inspiring presentations.

The schedule and other details about the 2020 program are currently not available. However, it will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.

Last year, 2019, the event for girls in grades 6-8 will take place at Chattanooga State Community College. It feature fun and hands-on sessions in science, technology, engineering and math.

Six events were planned for girls in grades 9-12. They also took place at Chattanooga State Community College and feature these topics:

3D Printing and Design Drafting
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Power
Chemical Engineering and Quality Control
Program Logic Controllers and Robotics
Welding and Non Destructive Testing

Chattanooga Regional Science & Engineering Fair

This event offers high school and middle school students the chance to showcase their knowledge and interest in science, and especially to gain experience in presenting themselves and their work. The students compete for an opportunity to advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Location: University Center – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. See UTC Map
The displays will be set up in the Tennessee and Chattanooga rooms of the University Center.
The Awards event will take place in the University Center’s Auditorium.

Dates: March 10-12, 2020

Location: UTC University Center Auditorium

Science Fair Activities:

Tuesday, March 10, 2020: – Any projects can be set up between 4 pm and 7pm with Junior Division judging that night.

Wednesday, March 11 – Any later junior divisions projects judged early that morning, all senior division project judged in the morning and sweepstakes judging set for the afternoon

Thursday, March 12 – Public viewing that afternoon and the awards ceremony that evening at 6:00 in the University Center Auditorium and breakdown of projects afterward

Click here: Categories to see the various available Science and Engineering Categories in which to compete.

Questions? Get in touch with Valerie Rutledge by email:

Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing that is meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Manufacturing Day occurred on October 6, 2018. But any day can be a Manufacturing Day. MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.

More information about Manufacturing day can be found at:

Speaking Opportunities

Volunteers are needed to address speaker requests from elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and youth groups to visit classrooms, assemblies, and group meetings. Please get in touch with Lulu Copeland by email at

General E-Week Contacts

Lulu Copeland