High School Innovation Challenge

High School Innovation Challenge

The High School Innovation Challenge is an annual high school design competition hosted by select Northrop Grumman sites from February through April. The competition theme varies yearly and is inspired by a Northrop Grumman program or capability. Previous competition themes led to challenges which tasked students to build launcher systems, RC airplanes, airships, and deployables. The High School Innovation Challenge strives to encourage students to actively engage in fun and rewarding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities.  

The High School Innovation ChallengeTeams of up to 10 students are tasked to design and build an engineering solution under the mentorship of Northrop Grumman employee(s). Teams demonstrate their engineering solution and compete against other schools at their local event. Students are required to submit a report prior to the event, present their design to Northrop Grumman judges and complete a challenge with their solution the day of the competition. Through this process students are exposed to the entire engineering process while developing teamwork and presentation skills. 

All high school students are encouraged to be involved, no experience or background in engineering is required!

Each school will receive funds to develop their idea. In addition, the top three performing teams at each Northrop Grumman site will receive cash prizes for their school’s science department.


Our vision is to develop and foster the next generation of engineers and scientists by giving them exposure to the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and the tools for them to learn and grow.


The High School Innovation Challenge mission is to stimulate excitement about STEM in high school students and encourage them to pursue STEM careers by hosting a competition based on a real-world engineering challenge and providing Northrop Grumman mentors to educate and inspire the students. The High School Innovation Challenge seeks to promote learning, confidence, engagement, and leadership amongst its students, teachers, and Northrop Grumman employees.


  1. The competition is open to teams of students in grades 9–12 from public or public charter high schools in selected Northrop Grumman communities. Only one team may represent each high school at the competition, with a maximum student team size of 10 students.
  2. For competitions hosted at a Northrop Grumman facility, all members requiring entrance to this facility must be U.S. citizens per security restrictions. Permanent residents are permitted at Redondo Beach, El Segundo, and Rancho Bernardo facilities. Proof of citizenship or residence may be required.

Note: Not all competitions will be hosted at Northrop Grumman facilities. Please contact HSInnovationChallenge@ngc.com or your local site representative for more detailed information.

Participation Logistics

  1. Each school must provide transportation to and from the competition location for all students and advisors
  2. Each participating student and advisor must sign release liability and forms prior to the start of the development phase and prior to the competition day. Each participating student and advisor must sign a photo release form.

Get Involved!

Contact HSInnovationChallenge@ngc.com for more information!