UE's High School Changemaker Challenge FAQ

How many teams can a school send?
We now have an initial round where a school can send as many teams as it wants! Each team only has to submit a 60 second video entry (and we will provide support on how to do that) and a quick online registration form when registration opens on August 15th. Registration for that is due by August 31st, so all schools have a few weeks to let students know about the opportunity, get their video entries complete and submitted. Each team still needs to have a coach, but one coach can serve as the coach for several teams. For example, if Gibson Southern wants to send 3 teams for consideration, one teacher can be the point of contact for all 3 of those video entries.
Is a school guaranteed a slot at the competition?
Since we have room for 20 teams at the final competition in October, the first 20 schools to register their teams’ video entries by August 31st will be guaranteed at least one slot. If only 15 schools register, then we will have 5 extra slots to give out, so a school could potentially get more than one entry allowed in for consideration. If a school registers, but then drops out later for some reason, we will go back to those schools who submitted more than one team and invite their next highest scoring team.
What are the rules for the video entries?
  • Maximum of 60 seconds.
  • Keep your school name out of them (we want to remove bias as much as possible).
  • No fancy equipment needed – teams can film right on their phones if they want. Teams will not be scored on production quality.
  • Get to the point right away – this is an elevator speech meant to convey what problem you’re addressing, how your idea solves it, and why someone should care.
How are the 20 teams selected?
We will have a panel of judges review all video entries and select the 20 best. If a school submits more than one entry, and we have room for it, the next highest scoring teams will be allowed to compete as well. The scoresheet for the video round will be sent to all the coaches. It will mirror what is expected of the final round, to make sure teams are focusing on what they need to.
How many students may participate on each team?
Up to 3 students, and no individual entries. So each team must have 2 or 3 members.
Which schools can compete?
The competition is open to any high school who can get their team to the competition in person, including high schools outside Indiana. For planning purposes, it will start around 8:00 a.m. and end around 4:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday, October 24, 2018.
Can home school students compete?
Yes! As long as they are on a team. There are no individual entries, so they would need to recruit at least 1 or 2 other team members who are high school aged. They will also need an adult to serve as their coach.
What are the prizes?
Each member of the winning team will receive four-year, full-tuition scholarships to the University of Evansville! Each member on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place teams will also receive significant scholarships ($5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 respectively).
What if I choose not to live on campus my freshman year and choose to live at home with my family?
Your scholarship will be reduced to the originally awarded academic scholarship. Students are required to fulfill the two-year residency requirement in campus housing.
How does a team register?
Registration for Round 1 opens Wednesday, August 15 at 9:00 a.m. CDT, and closes on Friday, August 31st at midnight CDT. It’s first come, first serve, so the first 20 teams to sign up will be taken. Teams will register online, and then email their 60 second video to Erin Lewis. Teams are strongly encouraged to register as soon as possible, as teams from outside our region are now competing and interest is higher. The registration form only takes about two minutes to fill out. Each team is required to have an adult point of contact (what we call a coach) affiliated with the school.
When will you announce the 20 teams that get to compete?
After the video round is complete, we’ll announce the Top 20 on Wednesday, September 5 at 10:00 a.m. CDT.
What do the teams have to do after that?
Each team competing in October will have a 5-7 minute max pitch, followed by Q&A with the judges. UE will provide training and support for how to do that well. That information will be communicated to the coach.
If our school already knows we have a team ready to go, can we register early?
No. Just be ready to register when it opens, or as close as possible to that date. Contact Erin Lewis at EL131@evansville.edu or via text at 812-449-1044 with any questions.
Can a student enter an idea on his or her own?
No. The Changemaker Challenge is designed to teach collaborative teamwork in pursuit of a goal. The team aspect is part of the competition. At least two students have to be on a team.
Does a team have to have a coach?
Yes. Each school has to designate one point of contact at the school. This can be a teacher, staff member, faculty, or administration member, but we need one point of contact to work with on paperwork and registration materials. This is similar to the role a Model UN or Mock Trial coach might play. Depending on sponsorship, coaches may receive a small stipend for their work.
What grade do students have to be?
There are no restrictions on this. It can be a team of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors, or any combination of grades.
Who can answer my questions about the challenge?
If a student or a parent has questions about the challenge after it has been launched, contact your school coaches directly (contact information will be listed on the website after registration closes). The coaches will have all the information necessary to answer your questions. If you have questions prior to registration, contact Erin Lewis at EL131@evansville.edu.
Does our idea have to already be implemented or started to qualify for the challenge?
No. This competition is for any group of students who has an idea that can improve their community or make the world a better place. The idea should be researched well, the presentation effective, and an action plan considered carefully, but students are not expected to have implemented it. This is designed to encourage innovative thinking (but hopefully they’ll act on it later)! UE will also provide training to all teams on social innovation, identifying the cost of their idea, and preparing a successful pitch. Information on this will be sent at a later date.
Does our presentation need to include a budget for the cost of our idea?
Budgets to execute projects are helpful to give a clear picture of your project scope and feasibility. Although full details are not required for the presentation, judges often ask about budget issues to assess the feasibility and sustainability of your proposal (and having a thorough answer on any one category can make or break a team’s score!). You’d be wise to research the costs of your idea and how to sustain it after any initial funding is obtained. UE offers assistance with this if any team is struggling.
What is the competition like?
All teams present a seven-minute pitch about their idea, and then answer three minutes of follow-up questions from a panel of community leaders (often including the Mayor and the University of Evansville president). In addition, all teams get lunch, and a chance to meet with talented UE professors and students about their interest areas, just to discuss career options and how to move their ideas forward. Regardless of the results of the competition, our entire UE community is committed to helping all students make a difference in the world. Previous teams have even stayed in touch with faculty after the competition. We are here to help!
Will we be able to get in the room prior to the competition?
Yes! All teams are given the opportunity to rehearse the night before the competition. We will have a signup sheet and give each team 20-30 minutes in the room with the door closed. That usually allows each team enough time for two rehearsals with their coach, and to get a feel for the room’s set up and AV. This is not required, but almost all teams take advantage of it. The ones who don’t are often significantly less comfortable the day of the event.
How does my school get involved?
If you’re not sure if your school can compete, already has a team, or where to start – contact Erin Lewis at EL131@evansville.edu. Check back at the competition website as well – as teams get finalized, coaches’ contact information will be placed on the site.
Where can I get some online resources?
Websites Videos

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