The Conrad Challenge 2019: Helping Students Change Their Worlds

The Conrad Challenge

In this episode of the TeacherCast Podcast, we meet Colorado Science Teacher Ryan Johson who last year, mentored a team of students to the final round of the Conrad Challenge

The Conrad Challenge invites teams of 2-5 students between the ages of 13-18, along with a coach (who may be a teacher, administrator, business leader, or another adult) to innovate new products and services that address global issues in one of six categories:

  • Aerospace & Aviation
  • Cyber-Technology & Security
  • Energy & Environment
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Smoke-Free World
  • Transforming Education with Technology

Students interested in joining this year's competition can visit

What Is The Conrad Challenge?

Registration is now open for the 2018-2019 Conrad Challenge. Unlike any STEM competition out there, this annual event unleashes the potential of students to leave their mark on the world, using their innovation and entrepreneurial skills to address some of the most pressing global challenges. In its first 13 years, the Challenge has had student participants from more than 70 different countries.

Coaches and judges from the best in business, industry, research and academia worldwide will guide the teams’ innovative ideas. In February 2019, five teams in each challenge category will be chosen as finalists and travel to the annual Innovation Summit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Finalist teams present their innovations before an esteemed panel of judges. Winning teams receive awards, investment opportunities, patent support, business services and scholarships to support the growth of their concepts into real businesses that can make real difference. At the end of the competition, teams maintain ownership of their Intellectual Property.

Interested teams should visit the Registration Form and 2019-2020 Conrad Challenge Overview for more information on this year’s competition. Expert judges will then select semi-finalist teams in each challenge category who will be invited to develop comprehensive business plans for their innovation.

America’s Navy is proud to partner with the Pete Conrad Foundation to carry on the shared tradition of discovery, creativity and problem-solving. For the fourth year, the Navy will sponsor the Conrad Challenge for and present the annual America’s Navy Gemini Award for Distinguished Innovation in the Spirit of Captain Pete Conrad to the team that best demonstrates the Navy’s characteristics of teamwork, innovation and hard work. Navy subject matter experts will also serve as panel judges, offering feedback based on their professional experience and knowledge in medicine, aviation, cyber technology and engineering.

About our Guest Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is a chemistry and AP chemistry teacher at Doherty High School and an adjunct professor of chemistry at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In addition to research in analytical chemistry and chemistry education, Ryan is excited to be continuing his work with students entering the Conrad Foundation Challenge this year in several categories. He can be reached on Twitter @RyTriGuy.

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