Hosted by BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, the event took place at Pennsylvania College of Technology Field House on March 13th. Twelve area schools from Bradford, Lycoming and Tioga counties sent their best teams of K’NEX kit engineers to the 2019 Regional STEM Design Challenge.

Teams in grades 4-5 and 6-8 were asked to create a machine that was capable of moving 3 objects at least 6 inches across a table.  Students selected the 3 objects that their “crane” prototype would move, and were encouraged to consider how environmentally friendly the machine would be while presenting about their project.

The K’NEX STEM Design Challenge tested the skills of 26 teams comprised of approximately 100 students.  Participating this year were Canton Area School District, East Lycoming, Loyalsock Township, Montoursville Area, New Covenant Academy, Northeast Bradford, Northern Tioga, Sayre Area, South Williamsport Area, Southern Tioga, Towanda Area, Williamsport Area, and Wyalusing Area. Each team, comprised of up to 4 members, had two hours to build a crane using up to 1,400 K’NEX kit pieces.

“At Pennsylvania College of Technology, we work with ‘tomorrow makers’ every day and focus on a future shaped by graduates with the hands-on technology skills the workforce needs,” said Melinda Heckman, admissions counselor. “Our collaboration with BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 allows us to work alongside bright elementary and middle school students from across our region who have an interest in STEM-based classes and careers and to encourage them in their pursuit. The recent K’NEX Regional Competition is just one example of the fantastic partnership that benefits the students of Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties.”

Representatives from Larson Design Group, the Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Lycoming College, Allison Crane and Rigging, and B&K Equipment and Crane Service participated in judging the teams on key 21st-century learning skills including creativity, teamwork, challenge success, design and presentation. Winning teams included:

4th-5th Grade Winners:

  • 1st: Canton Warriors
  • 2nd: Loyalsock The Crane-ials
  • 3rd: Loyalsock The Crane Crane
Canton Warriors
Loyalsock Crane-ials
Loyalsock – The Crane Crane


6th-8th Grade Winners:

  • 1st: Canton Area JR/SR High School
  • 2nd: East Lycoming Spartan STEM’ERS
  • 3rd: Montoursville Happy Trees
Canton Area Jr/Sr High School
East Lycoming Spartan STEM’ERS
Montoursville Happy Trees


The state competition is scheduled for Friday, May 17 in Harrisburg.

Collage video:

News clips:

Building Futures Through STEM Challenge- WNEP

Students Participate in Design Challenge at Penn College- WBRE