STEAM Tank Challenge

The STEAM Tank Challenge, created and sponsored by NJSBA and the U.S. Army, encourages New Jersey’s public school students in the areas of STEAM – science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math.

The competition asks the district teams to invent something new, modify an existing product, or identify a situation or real-world problem that needs resolution. Teams are provided criteria and a panel of experts judge their designs and/or solutions.

STEAM Tank Design

STEAM Tank is intentionally designed to be extremely open-ended to maximize student creativity and to allow students to take the challenge in any direction.  The STEAM Tank Challenge encourages students to identify a real-world problem or situation that needs resolution, modify an existing product to make it better, or invent something that does not yet exist.

Once a team, consisting of two to five students, submits an application and their concept is accepted, the teacher/team leader will receive access to the STEAM Tank playbook, which contains detailed information for the teams and strategies for the challenge.

The STEAM Tank Challenge consists of three levels: elementary, middle and high school. Each level has a first, second, and third-place prize.

Competition Judging

The students are the stars of STEAM Tank, but the judges make a significant impact as well. The judges volunteer their time and provide in-depth feedback and coaching to the students. Judges include teachers, business and industry leaders and entrepreneurs, U.S. Army engineers, university staff and leaders and staff of education-focused non-profit organizations.

Benefits of participating in the STEAM Tank Challenge:

  • Access to a comprehensive STEAM Tank Playbook, a “how-to” guide for STEAM Tank participation
  • Opportunity to work with the U.S. Army on team building activities for your school
  • Opportunity to participate in a regional competition where your teams can observe other teams learn about different strategies, techniques, and projects.
  • Board members can earn Board Member Academy credits by attending a STEAM Tank event
  • Opportunity for teachers to learn how to run a design challenge
  • Finalists have an opportunity to attend the NJSBA/NJASA/NJASBO annual conference at the Atlantic City Convention Center

Additional STEAM Tank Partners

In addition to NJSBA and the U.S. Army, additional partners include the NJEA, NJ Audubon, Eco-Schools, and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The PSEG Foundation has generously provided prizes for the past several years to the top placing teams.

Learn More

For more information on the STEAM Tank Challenge, please email