Scout Innovation Design Challenge

Scout Innovation Design Challenge

The Capitol Area Council is challenging *you* to think of a mobile app idea that will address one of the major issues in the world today. Read Overview...


Tomorrow’s leaders must understand how to program computers and other smart devices. Even if you don't become a programmer, many future jobs will involve digital skills and technology. The Boy Scouts of America partnered with Code.org to introduce ways of using technology that contribute to Scouting values. 

Through the Scout Innovation Design Challenge, you will learn what is required to create an innovative solution and how to invent, innovate and implement an idea that improves your community.  

The Scout Innovation Design Challenge allows you to: 

  • Use creative strategies to develop solutions that focus on a UN Sustainable Goal
  • Understand what it means to create value and how it is measured 
  • Learn how to effect change through risk-taking 
  • Practice failing quickly and to view failure as growth 
  • Use a computer science and/or a Maker strategy to develop a project 
  • Assess and modify the project through testing 
  • Present their project and findings to their community 



Game-based learning introduces Scouts and Explorers to the basic building blocks of coding. Youth are challenged to think of an idea for an app that helps solve a UN Sustainable Development problem. Youth may submit their idea to the BSA Innovation Design Challenge for a chance to win $2,000 for their unit. 

Code.org introduces coding to youth across the world, providing free and easy activities that can be delivered by leaders at the unit level. Youth may join the Saturday, December 8, event at Austin Community College Highland Campus to kick off the Innovation Design Challenge. 

What You Can Do Right Now 

  • Click ACCEPT CHALLENGE above to sign up for the challenge. 
  • Read the Challenge Guidelines to learn about the requirements and rules. 
  • Review the Resources Tab for additional information and help with your app. 
  • Mark your calendar for the submission deadline of February 15th at 11:59 pm CST.




  • Innovation Design Challenge kickoff: December 8, 2018 
  • Submission deadline: February 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm Central 
  • Finalists are chosen: March (TBD)
  • Finalists present at Pitch Party: March (TBD)
  • Winners selected and notified: March (TBD)



The Capitol Area Council, BSA will award up to five prizes of $2,000 each to a Scouting or Exploring unit. Two prizes will be awarded to the Beginner category and two prizes will be awarded to the Intermediate/Advanced category. There will be a final prize for the Most Innovative Project. Winners will also be mentioned in the Capitol Area Council, BSA social media.


* Prizes will be awarded to the unit listed on the Submission Form.


What makes an awesome app?

You will need to complete the Submission Form describing your project, its purpose, who would use it, and submit a basic wireframe and your Code.org project link. You do not need to have a completely working app, but you must be able to write and present about your app. It is more important that your idea solves a local, national or global problem, and is unique and innovative.  

There are a few things that your app must do, at minimum:

  • Meet one of the five UN Sustainable Development Goals
    • Clean Water and Sanitation 
    • Affordable and Clean Energy 
    • Sustainable Cities and Communities 
    • Responsible Consumption and Production 
    • Climate Action 
    • A local problem that you feel strongly about solving 
  • Develop a wireframe of your app prior to implementing on Code.org (Example in Resource Section)
  • Beginner projects must contain at least 2 pages/events 
  • Intermediate and Advanced projects must contain at least 5 pages/events 
  • “Publish” the current state of your app on Code.org in order to submit 
  • Can submit up to five app submissions per unit 
  • Must have unit leader's permission to submit 


Here’s how Here’s how you will be scored:

IMPACT (20 points)

How does this app idea contribute to one of the five Sustainable Development Goals at a local or regional level? Does the proposed app make a meaningful, positive impact on the community (local, national and/or global)? How many people will be positively impacted?

DESIGN (20 points)

How well thought out is the design of the app? Has the team considered different pages/events in their wireframes? How does the design support the purpose of the app?

APPROACH (20 points)

How did the team approach the app development? What was the process for research, picking a concept, and designing a layout? Did team use market research to better understand the problem and user group? If completed, how was the approach for making and/or testing a prototype? Did the team factor in the user(s) of the app and their needs?

INNOVATION (20 points)

How is the solution innovative, new and different? How will it interact with or affect other solutions currently being deployed to solve similar problems? Did the team consider other solutions already in existence?


How well developed is the app? Did the team create and/or test a prototype? Did the team complete the required events based on his or her experience level?


What will you need to submit?

Step 1: Create your app on Code.org. Follow Code.org account setup instructions in the Resource Section.

Step 2: You must submit your entry using the online submission form. To do so, click ACCEPT CHALLENGE above to get started.

NOTE: Youth under the age of 13 may not submit content or responses for this challenge. A unit leader, parent or older youth (13 years or older) may submit on his/her behalf. 

Please answer the below questions in the Submission Form:

  1. Project Name:
  2. Please identify if your team is beginner, intermediate or experienced.
  3. Team Member(s). List all Scouts that participated in the creation of your project.
  4. Unit Leader Name, Email, and Cell:
  5. Publish your project. Then copy and paste the link from your code.org app here:
  6. Provide a one sentence summary of your project.
  7. What of the UN Sustainable Development Goals will you address(pick one) 
    • Clean Water and Sanitation 
    • Affordable and Clean Energy 
    • Sustainable Cities and Communities 
    • Responsible Consumption and Production 
    • Climate Action 
    • Other Local Issue
  8. What is the problem that you are trying to solve? How does the proposed app make a meaningful, positive impact on the community (local, national and/or global)?  
  9. What is the goal or purpose of your app (what is it designed to do)? 
  10. How is your app idea innovative (new and different)? 
  11. How did you go about designing your app?  Provide one to two sentences for each of the below steps, detailing how you created and implemented your idea. If you have not completed the step, you can leave it blank. 
    • Research: 
    • Picking the concept: 
    • Designing the layout: 
    • Making a prototype (if completed): 
    • Testing the prototype (if completed):
  12. What lessons did you learn from the project?  If you were to start again, what would you change or do differently?  
  13. If you worked with a team: How did your team work together to solve a local, national or global issue? What worked well for your team? If you were to start again, what would you change or do differently?
  14. Any other comments and/or things you want the judges to know?
  15. Attach wireframes for your app idea. Wireframes are blueprints or outlines that map out your idea and how your app screens will fit together. You can find an example of a wireframe here: What's For Lunch? Wireframes.
  16. Acknowledge that you have obtained your unit leader's permission to participate.  



This challenge is only open to Scouting and Exploring units registered in the Capitol Area Council, BSA (Austin area).

  1. You must complete the Innovation Design Challenge application by clicking ACCEPT CHALLENGE above.
  2. You may submit up to five submissions per unit.
  3. You must have the permission of your unit leader.
  4. You may work as a group or individual.
  5. You must be a registered Scout or Explorer in the Capitol Area Council, BSA.



Registration and Submissions:

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the HeroX.com website, on or before 11:59 pm Central February 15, 2019. All uploads must be in PDF or Word format. No late submissions will be accepted.


Intellectual Property Rights:

Please see the legal agreement section of this Challenge page.


Selection of Winners:

Based on the winning criteria, prizes will be awarded per the Judging Criteria section above. In the case of a tie, the winner(s) will be selected based on the highest votes from the Judges.

In the case of no winner, the Capitol Area Council, BSA reserves the right to withhold the Prize amount. In place of the original prize amount, the Capitol Area Council, BSA must issue a Consolation Prize to the team or individual closest to the winning solution in the amount of $2,000.


Judging Panel:

The determination of the winners will be made by a group of computer programming professionals and Scouting leaders.


Additional Information

  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse or reimbursement.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
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