$250 prizes for best student-designed toys

TOYchallenge is a toy and game design competition that is sponsored by Sally Ride Science Club, Smith College, and Hasbro Inc. The competition aims to encourage middle school kids, especially girls, to pursue their interest in science and engineering while having fun. To join TOYchallenge, design teams must find an adult coach and register before Dec. 15 (registration fee is $25 per team); choose a theme from seven toy categories, such as “Build It!,” “Get Out and Play,” and “Remarkable Robots”; and create and submit their entry, which must consist of a visual presentation, written description, and early version of their original toy or game concept. Teams that cannot attend one of the regional events may mail in their written entry. To participate in the National Showcase, teams must construct a working prototype or model of their design. Boys and girls in grades five through eight may participate, but at least half of the members of each team must be girls. Five teams at each regional event will be awarded $250 development grants toward presenting their toy or game at the National Showcase. TOYchallenge 2005 will officially launch Sept. 15, and the deadline to register is Dec. 15. Participants who pre-register before Sept. 15 can receive a free TOYchallenge 2004 T-shirt for each team member while supplies last.

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