Goal of the Competition

Bring awareness to the vast technologies related to optics and photonics; Inspire students to pursue a career in optical or photonics engineering or continue toward an advanced degree.

Team Structure

Teams are comprised of up to 6 individuals, in any combination of high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as long as there is no more than one graduate student per team.  The teams can be comprised of individuals across schools.  For example, a single team can be comprised of high school, undergraduate and a single graduate student.  Schools, colleges, and universities may enter as many 6-member teams as they wish.    

Teams may submit as many entries per event as is described in the event rules.  When the team enters an event, the formation of this smaller group of members is called a “subteam”.  The Subteam

Team member names do not need to be identified until teams arrive at the competition site.

Scoring of Events

There are eight events in the challenge.  Teams may select to compete in 7 of the 8 events.  There is no bonus for competing in all 8 events.  The team totals will be based on the scores of 7 events. 

In each event, the top three ranking subteam members will be recognized at the awards ceremony.  Then, the individual events rankings are totaled for an overall team ranking and the top three teams will receive awards. 

The top rank of all subteam entries in each event will be used for the overall team ranking.  For example, if a subteam placed 3rd, 8th, and 16th, the team will receive 3 points toward their overall ranking.  In the calculation of overall team rank, low score wins.  When there is a tie in the overall score, the tie will be broken by counting the number of 1st place wins, number of 2nd place rankings, etc.

Teams that do not enter an event will be ranked at last place + 1 of all teams that competed in the event.  In the event of a disqualification of a subteam due to dishonest conduct, the team will receive last place + 2 and this will be used for the official points used toward the team total.  Examples of dishonesty include a blatant attempt to circumvent the rules or disrespect toward challenge officials.  (e.g. using Photoshop to alter the Light Painting is a blatant violation of the rules)  Disqualifications will not occur in those cases in which the teams made an honest attempt to follow the rules, but may have misinterpreted the rules.   

Code of Ethics

Team members and challenge officials are expected to compete in a fair and ethical manner, and to treat each other in a respectful and honest way.  Any person attending with the team is also expected to display respect for and honesty to anyone in attendance.   

In the event of a conflict of interest (an official who is judging an event has a relationship with a team they are evaluating) this must be disclosed to the site director.  This includes any perception that there may be a conflict of interest. 

Should there be a violation of the Code of Ethics, it may result in the disqualification of a subteam from an event, the team from the competition, the removal of an official, or the disqualification of an event.

Schedule of the Competition

The events will be scheduled over the course of a two day challenge.  All teams will compete in the same event at the same time, or in a staggered way.  Here is the full schedule of events.

Award Money

The top three teams will split award money totaling $5,000.  The first place overall team will be awarded $2,500.  Second place overall team will be awarded $1,500.  Third place overall team will be awarded $1,000.

Travel Expenses

Teams are responsible for travel expenses to the University of Central Florida.  Designed team hotels are available here.