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Showcase Projects2020-01-02T16:28:30-05:00

Showcase Project Information

Register Projects Here

Each year, the TechOlympics Showcase is a central part of our technology competition and event. Schools work on their Showcase projects with their coach during the November to February timeframe, then present their projects as a team in front of our panel of executive judges from all over Cincinnati’s business community. 

Create a project in one of these categories to earn points for your school in the 2020 TechOlympics Showcase. Sign up here. Use these as inspiration, but the sky’s the limit for what you can do. You will present this project to a panel of expert judges at TechOlympics 2020, February 22-23. Activate!

Come back to this page to submit your Showcase application before the deadline to ensure a spot in the conference schedule! If you have any questions, email [email protected].

Each school can submit an unlimited number of projects, so long as 5 representatives from the school will attend the conference to present each project.

Projects should be substantial. If a high level of effort is apparent when your project is being judged, your project will earn more points. Think outside the box, cover all your bases, and use a team to divide a huge project into small pieces so your school can succeed. The winning project of the TechOlympics showcase will have the opportunity to present their project on the main stage in front of over 500 of their peers!

Showcase Rubric

Category Description
Creativity and Originality High: Surprisingly innovative. Clearly not a copy of anything that already exists.

Low: Not very original at all, an overused idea. Cliché, unimaginative.

Presentation High: All students showed terrific and professional stage presence, and present very well. Visuals and graphics look very professional.

Low: Poor public speaking skills shown. Visuals not effective in communicating the idea.

Real-World Impact High: Project provides a powerful, innovative solution to a real-world problem that could have impact on many people, if implemented widely.

Low: Project is shallow, in that, it may be interesting, but does not address a real-world issue.

Technical Difficulty

High: Project involves complex subject matter and uses sophisticated technology creatively to address the problems.

Low: Project addresses a relatively superficial problem and does not represent a technical challenge of substance.

Best Practices

  • While a working prototype is not required, it is highly encouraged. A working prototype will help to eliminate ambiguities and improve accuracy in interpretation of the project requirements and functionality.
  • Providing judges with a workflow/development process will give them a heightened sense of how your project came to fruition. This may include the: tasks and requirements which constitute a process & the people or resources required to deliver this process.
  • Similar to a workflow, a data/application flow will help judges follow the actual functionality and flow of information for your process or system. This is simply an overview that should be able to be elaborated upon.
  • In addition to your core project, it is advised to develop a business and marketing plan if applicable. This will convey your forward-looking approach and show a practical plan for advancing your idea.

Previous Winners

2019 First Place Winner

Project Name: Level Up Your Self Defense

Project Category: Level Up

Project Description: Our projects is called Level up your self defense. Our goal is to take our knowledge of technology and use that to support those in our community struggling with their self defense. As an all girl school in East Walnut Hills, we found that girls at our school weren’t feeling as safe as possible. So we created our project! We have 3D printed hundreds of self defense tools and teaching held events for our peers about the value of their safety. 

Creativity & Originality Comments: Our project is a unique combination of one of today’s most applicable areas of engineering, additive manufacturing, with an equally applicable greater cause, self-defense for women. We found a way to use technology to help improve and raise awareness for social justice all while making it personal to us, representing our school and other attractions in Cincinnati. Our designs are designed, printed, and assembled by us. Our statistics are gathered from our own local community from a survey we ourselves composed.

Presentation Comments: For our presentation we met more times than we can count. Meeting with teachers, they watched our presentations, reviewed our slides, and gave us excellent advice. Overall we feel extremely prepared for our presentation and look forward to sharing everything we have learned with all of you.

Real World Impact Comments: Our project provides a powerful solution to the real world problem of assault. Having a tool to fight for your life, a friends life, or even a stranger’s life is a necessity. By providing self defense tools for local women, we are enabling them to protect themselves and to provide a source of self-reliance and security that will build up our Cincinnati community.  Having a good knowledge of self-defense can build confidence in women because they are given the tools to defend herself and have a greater sense of self-worth. Through learning these skills women learn their value and live a life that is worth fighting for. 

Technical Difficulty Comments: For our project we chose to design 3D-printed self-defense devices. After researching the most effective type of self-defense tool, we decided on a keychain that can be worn on two fingers with sharp edges that can be used as a weapon. We made multiple prototypes using tinkercad online. After coming up with our final model, we tested different scaling until we found which sizes would work best. We timed the first few prints to find the duration and material needed per print. Using this information, we were able to strategize the best way to print as many as possible. 

2019 2nd Place Winner

Project Name: Nautilida Smart Shower System

Project Category: Level Up

Project Description: The Nautilida Smart Shower System is a modern, computer-controlled shower that is able to adjust temperature and pressure over time to fit what the user desires. The purpose behind this product is to bring showers into the twenty-first century by integrating computer hardware that monitors and adjusts shower variables typically outside of the user’s precise control. This system consists of basic temperature and flow sensors that collect data from a running shower and feed it into a master program. This program compares current data with data desired from a user profile created on the shower and adjusts both temperature and pressure accordingly to fit the user’s desires. The strategy behind this project was to utilize cost-effective and easily-programmable devices to make a simplistic yet highly effective solution. After being built, the system was then able to be extensively tested to iron out any problems and to make the system as user-friendly as possible. The outcome of this project was to have a fully-working prototype system that was able to show all of the desired concepts of this product. Further than the build itself, displaying the product to many different people was able to be done to test the viability of a digital shower in the current technology market. In the end, both of these outcomes were achieved with a great final product.

Creativity & Originality Comments: This project is unlike any shower system currently on the market. No other system has the features and ease-of-use that the Nautilida System does. Simply by implementing sensors and motors to a shower to allow for a closed-loop feedback system that follows a user’s desired levels of temperature and pressure, this project excels far past any shower system currently available for purchase. No other system has the digital control that if afforded by the Nautilida System. Not only does this system excel in technological prowess, it is exceptionally inexpensive. The system is able to be installed directly into any traditional shower system, and the electronics that make up the bulk of the system are common parts that are very cost-effective. This product’s total cost is less than what most traditional shower systems cost, thus placing it in a very great spot in the shower market. In all, this project is unique in its innovative implementation of digital control over a traditional shower and because of its very low cost.

Presentation Comments: We have rehearsed our presentation many times in the past and come prepared to talk about any aspect of the system. We have extensive knowledge about all parts of the system designed and built, so we are able to talk about all aspects of the build without worry. We have great experience in presenting engineering projects in a professional setting as well, so we are accustomed to what work and mindset is necessary for success. We will continue to prepare for our presentation to ensure we are ready for anything that might come our way and so that we are able to properly display our hard work and efforts.

Real World Impact Comments: This product came out of an observation that modern shower systems are very outdated in our vast technological world. Simple luxuries such as a constant temperature and pressure were not existent in conventional shower systems found in most homes. We set out to redesign the shower to allow for computer-control that would improve a user’s shower experience dramatically. This project would give a user immediate feedback of how their shower system was operating along with changing any variables by utilizing a closed-loop feedback system. This project is useful in allowing for a user to have great control over their shower. This system is able to allow the user to control their desired temperature, pressure, and volume of water used dynamically over time. By integrating these features in easy-to-create user profiles, users are able to have a more environmentally-friendly experience with a shower that they have complete control over.

Technical Difficulty Comments: Common temperature and flow sensors were utilized to gather data from the water of the shower. A simple rotary encoder was placed on the handle of the shower to gather rotational data to serve as a form of user input. Stepper motors and controllers were utilized and placed on water valves to allow for electronic control over shower temperature and pressure. All data was fed into a Raspberry Pi 3 that contained an extensive Python program. This program housed creatable user profiles and checked current data measurements with desired ones from the profiles, then sending data to the stepper motors to make any necessary adjustments. A screen with three buttons server the purpose of being the user’s main interfacing device with the system. Here, the user is able to see any data coming from the system in a simple, interactable Graphical User Interface. Challenges of creating such a vast program that simultaneously gathered, processed, and output data allowed for a great coding challenge that took the majority of the time to iron out to completion. The build of the system itself afforded a few mechanical challenges that were able to be overcome with ingenuity and engineering solutions. Finally, creating such a complex project on such a large scale was something our group had never done before, so it took time to be able to grasp all components of the build and have them work nicely together.

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