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The Challenge 

Design a device for use by a human, animal, or both to address an issue at the intersection of human, animal, & environmental health

April 17, 2018

NC State University

One Health Logo


What is the Wearable Device Challenge?

The Wearable Device Challenge integrates the One Health Initiative concepts and the Grand Challenges of Engineering to create a competition where students will be tasked with designing a wearable device to monitor the health of a human or animal based on environmental factors and/or disease transmission. The One Health Initiative is a collaborative initiative which focuses on the health of humans, animals, and the environment. Through studying these connections we can better understand animal to human interactions, prevention of disease transmission, and correlations between the environment, animal and human health. The Grand Challenges of Engineering focus on fourteen areas of engineering that pose the greatest global challenges, encouraging international collaboration to solve each challenge. One of the fourteen topics of the Grand Challenges of Engineering is advanced health informatics.

For the competition students will use the engineering design process to design their wearable device to solve a global health challenge. High school students will be required to design a working prototype of their device along with an ad campaign and poster. Middle school students will be required to design a prototype of their device along with an ad campaign and poster.

What is ASSIST?

ASSIST creates self-powered, wearable health and environmental monitoring systems.  ASSIST stands for “Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies”.  ASSIST is an Engineering Research Center financed by the National Science Foundation and headquartered at NC State University.  Education and outreach are an integral part of the Center’s mission and vision. The Wearable Device Challenge aims to disseminate the core of ASSIST work to the K-12 community and build the pipeline for young scientists and engineers who will be prepared to continue the important work of identifying and solving the Grand Challenges of Engineering for the future.

Competition Overview


Create a wearable device for a human or an animal
Make a poster detailing the design process of your product
Create an ad campaign for your product
Keep an engineering design journal
Register to compete & submit materials


The teams from participating schools will upload their designs and all supporting materials to Google for preliminary judging. Judges will consist of a team of graduate research assistants, professors from NC State University, and industry personnel. The competition is organized and sponsored by the ASSIST Center at NC State University. Students must create a working prototype (high school) or model (middle school) of their device, a  poster showing the engineering design process used to create their device, and an ad campaign informing the public of their device.

Teachers will have access to the ASSIST Center’s library of supplies. In these webpages about the Wearable Device Challenge,  teachers will find lesson plans that will help them to implement the Wearable Device Challenge, including lesson plans on the engineering design process, sensor and energy harvesting technology, platforms and programming. All of the lesson plans are aligned with North Carolina teaching standards.

Students will use the engineering design process to create a wearable device that monitors health and is aligned with the One Health Initiative. Students will design their wearable device students using platforms such as Arduino Unos,  Lilypads, Littlebits circuit set, or TI Sensortag. Students must be able to articulate how future iterations of their design can be self-powered. High school students will be tasked with designing a working prototype while middle students will be required to design a 3D model (bonus points will be given to middle school teams that have a working prototype).

Registration & LogisticsLesson Plans Device RentalGuidelinesStudent Resources