LEAP Design Competition in Portland

This weekend the final judging of the Linking Engineering and Philanthropy (LEAP) design contest for local FIRST Robotic FRC Teams was held at Mercy Corp in Portland Oregon. The high school FRC Team 1540 Flaming Chickens from Catlin Gabel that I have worked with for a few years founded LEAP and run it. Autodesk was again a proud sponsor with the prize money and Mercy Corp was the non profit recipient,  awesome host, and defined the challenge and need for this years competition.

“Linking Engineering and Philanthropy (LEAP) is an off season event for FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams designed to get students to apply their engineering skills to real-world problems in their communities. Over the course of a three month competition beginning in September, teams research, design, and prototype a solution to a given humanitarian problem provided by a partnering nonprofit. As FIRST likes to say, “It’s more than just robots.”

By the end of a LEAP competition, teams will have fleshed out a tangible product or design to improves their community, but LEAP has an impact far beyond the single invention that teams come up with for the competition. Once teams have competed in LEAP, they will be able to further their project and implement in their communities on a larger scale. Through LEAP, students will have the necessary experience in developing and inventing for their own community, what we like to call, "Community Engineering."”

LEAP 2018 Competition Rules and Details

LEAP 2018 Competition Kickoff Video

I seen some of the teams using Autodesk Inventor and Tinkercad. One parent came up to me and told me how awesome Tinkercad was after learning with her son that was using it to design their prototype. I can’t wait to visit the Camas Washington Discovery High School in the future as they appear to be doing some amazing things in their project based curriculum. They actually used the challenge as part of a curriculum with entire grades participating!

Thank you to teams multiple entries from 2471, 3674, and 6443!




Our new BFFs at non profit Mercy Corp are located directly across the Willamette river from our Autodesk Portland office. A group shot of Mercy Corp and Autodesk volunteers for this event.
Autodesk and Mercy Corp Volunteers

It was a real honor to be involved as a judge and determining by points the winning teams was not easy, or taken lightly.  I can’t wait until next years competition!