The JCPL Epic STEM Challenge

We’re looking for 400 thinkers and innovators...

Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) is proud to present the Epic STEM Challenge for middle school students who live in or attend school in Jefferson County.

We appreciate your interest in this program and are currently re-evaluating the timeline.  

We'll update this news blog when new timeline decisions are made.

Get pumped! Be excited! Dive into the world of science, technology, engineering and math – and possibly win $500 for your school or approved home school association.

The Challenge
Identify a social problem or issue, then show off that brain power as you propose and create a STEM-based solution.

Projects fall into one of four tracks, which students can choose upon signing up. This helps us partner you with the perfect mentor from that field of study, as well as allows you to more fully explore a specific area of focus. (If your track is unknown at registration, mentors will help you identify the track at the first Meetup). Choose from:

  • Engineering & Environment
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Coding & Robotics
  • Biomedicine

Mentor Meetups
You’ll design your solution (either as a team or individually) by working alongside of some of Jeffco’s brightest minds, through special workshops at Belmar, Columbine, Golden and Standley Lake Libraries. 

Meetup 1: What’s the plan?
Saturday, Dec. 1, Belmar, Golden, and Standley Lake Libraries
Sunday, Dec. 2, Columbine Library
Put your thinking caps on and come up with a plan. Your mentor guides the evening as you identify your team name, then brainstorm or finalize your topics. Leave with a problem to solve, develop a thesis statement, and begin to refine your project’s scope.

Meetup 2: Clearing Roadblocks
Saturday, Jan. 12
Tackle roadblocks together. Use this time to check in with your mentor and track your progress while identifying key strategies for your next steps. Mentors provide solutions and guidance for any problems that may have popped up during prep time.

Meetup 3: Final Polish
Saturday, Jan. 26
In this final meetup, practice your demonstration and explanation. Rehearse for the judges and make any final tweaks or touches to perfect your project.

The Competition
Saturday, Feb. 2, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Jefferson County Fairgrounds
15200 W. 6th Ave Frontage Rd, Golden, CO 80401

Present your hard work and showcase your STEM knowledge with an oral presentation and display (think science fair!).

Participants set up their project displays at 9 a.m. STEM professionals from the community judge the project from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Students receive t-shirts and medals for their participation and automatically enter to win one of 13 prizes!

Prize Categories

Winners for all 13 categories will be announced Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 online at 

Grand Prize Winner: This best-in-show project will receive a $500 check toward their middle school or approved home school organization. 

Best-In-Track: These prizes will be awarded to the best-in-track project in all four tracks at all three grade levels. Best-in-track winners receive a trophy. 

Awards Ceremony
Saturday, Feb. 9

Celebrate and support all Epic STEM participants! This ceremony specially recognizes the best-in-track winners for each grade level and the Grand Prize Winner. Grand Prize Winner receives their $500 check at this event.

Registration opens Thursday, Nov. 1 and closes Saturday, Nov. 17.

Attendance at the Feb. 2, 2019 competition is mandatory to participate in the Epic STEM Challenge and associated workshops. If a student is not able to attend Feb. 2, please DO NOT register.

JCPL will notify participants via email of their acceptance by Tuesday, Nov. 20. Each of our participating libraries can accept 100 entrants, which we will review on a first-come, first-served basis.

To encourage participation of all budding scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians, we will review individual and team applications to ensure as equal a representation as possible of all genders.