The K-12 STEM Center follows all University guidelines for protecting students, families, teachers, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and USC reopening attempts. Learn More.



to all of the young engineers who participated in our 2020 USC K-12 STEM Center PPE STEM Challenge!

The top submissions were Tristan R., Diane J., and Gary L.

These three engineers used their ingenuity to design and test their own unique and effective PPE face masks all from materials found around their homes! Check out their awesome work below!

Tristan R.

Diane J.

Gary L.

Have you ever wondered how different designs and fabrics affect how well a home-made mask works?

The PPE STEM Challenge is a NEW virtual event for students in incoming 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades.

Participants will carry out an engineering design challenge at home to design their own personal protective equipment mask or face-shield. Students will submit their work via a short video and answering of reflection questions (see Project Guidelines below). Submitted projects will be given feedback by USC staff and students and projects of the highest merit (top 10%) will be featured on the USC Viterbi K-12 STEM Center website and social media channels (you can opt out of this if you like). There is no fee to participate.


Student Eligibility:

  • Students enrolled in 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grades for the 2020-2021 school year.

Timeline and Important Dates: 

  • Window for submissions: July 13 - July 24, 2020
  • Judging Period: completed by July 29, 2020

Published on July 7th, 2020

Last updated on July 9th, 2021