QC (Quad City) Tech Challenge

The QCESC, in conjunction with the Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley High Schools, sponsors an annual series of three competitive events (Bridge Building, Trebuchet Egg Throw, and Cardboard Boat Race) open to high school teams from Iowa and Illinois. The goal of the events is to provide a competitive, fun team environment to support and encourage students in the real-world, hands-on application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  This includes skills such as problem solving, team-building, and presentation skills.

High school teams and individuals received points from each of the 3 QC Tech Challenge events.  A traveling trophy is provided to the top high school and an award to the top scoring individual along with a $1,000 STEM scholarship.

For 2017 which was the 9th year for the program, 10 different high schools participated with 231 students.

2017  QC Tech Challenge Final Top Ten Individual Results (3 of 3 events complete):

Link to complete individual detailed results

2017 QC Tech Challenge Final Team Results (3 of 3 results complete):

2017 Events:

  • 10th Annual Battle of the Bridges
    January 27 & 28, 2017
    Putnam Musuem & Science Center
    Bridge building contest open to all ages  with teams of up to four.   No pre-work required with all of the necessary materials provided.
    Link to 2017 results and further information
  • 9th Annual Trebuchet Egg Throw Competition
    April 21, 2o17
    Bettendorf High School football practice Field
    Teams of 3-8 high school students design & build trebuchets to launch raw eggs at targets at three, specified distances 75, 100, and 125 feet. Each team will get four shots at each distance with the two best shots counted for scoring along with the points from the longest throw. The field competition portion will count for 70 of the total 110 possible event points.  In addition to the trebuchet field competition, a presentation worth up to 40 points is given by each team to local engineers from the QCESC. 
    Link to 2017 results and further information 
  • 9th Annual Cardboard Boat Race
    May 12, 2017
    Bettendorf Middle Park Lagoon
    Teams from area high schools will design and construct a one or two-person vessel made from cardboard.  It must be maneuverable and stay afloat for approximately 600 yards.  The boats will compete at the Bettendorf Middle Park Lagoon.  The boats will be timed from the moment they leave the lagoon dock to the time they return, with the fastest time winning the competition. 
    Link to further information 

Prizes for QC Tech Challenge:

  • Top three teams at each of the events based on the scores will receive:
    • One picture trophy per team
    • One medal for each team member
  • Most innovation design selected by judges at each event will receive:
    • Team trophy
  • Longest Trebuchet throw team will receive:
    • One picture trophy
  • Individual with the highest score from the three events will receive:
    • Trophy & $1,000 QCESC STEM scholarship
      Must plan to study STEM related degree (Science,Technology,Engineering or Mathematics) at an accredited four-year college or university.   For definition of STEM degrees see page 7 of the QCESC Scholarship form.
  • School with highest overall score from the three events will receive:
    • Traveling trophy with school and year engraved and added.


  • Teams are not required to enter all 3 events and are not required to have the same team members or team size for each event.
  • All teams are required to pre-register for each event and provide a signed consent form.

Points from the three events are assigned as follows:

  •  1st place – 20 points       2nd place – 16 points   3rd place – 12 points  
  • 4th place – 10 points       5th place  –  9 points    6th place – 8 points
  • 7th place – 7 points         8th place –   6 points    all other places – 3 points

 Each individual on the team will receive the points shown above for each event they participate in.   The tie breaker to determine the single, overall first place individual will be:

  • 1st Criteria – Grade (Senior/12th Grade highest, then Junior/11th grade, etc)
  • 2nd Criteria – Individual points from previous year’s QC Tech Challenge
  • 3rd Criteria – Plans to attend and has been accepted into one of the colleges supporting a STEM scholarship

Team Scoring: Traveling Trophy for the top school will be determined by adding the scores for the top two scores from the school from the three events.