The ASU Chandler Innovation Center is gearing up for an extraordinary event that blends the worlds of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) into an exhilarating team-based competition. On April 13 and 14, participants will embark on a thrilling adventure titled “Finding F.R.E.D.: A Chain-Reaction Mystery.” This competition is not just about solving puzzles; it’s about diving deep into the enigmatic disappearance of the Friendly Robotic Engineering Droid (F.R.E.D.) through creativity, storytelling, and engineering prowess.

Teams of up to six members will tackle the challenge head-on, each armed with a custom-designed chain-reaction materials kit, valued at $200 and theirs to keep. With more than four hours at their disposal, teams will design, build, and test chain-reaction machines that narrate the story of F.R.E.D.’s vanishing act. The event promises not only a test of participants’ STEAM skills but also an opportunity to weave together elements of story and machine into a compelling narrative.

Guidance and mentorship will be provided by engineers from ASU’s STEAM Labs and storytellers from South Mountain Community College, ensuring that each team is well-equipped to embark on their quest. To keep the creative juices flowing, the event includes lunch and snacks, so that all participants stay fueled throughout the day.

The competition culminates in an awards ceremony where teams vie for substantial prizes: $2,000 for the first-place team, $1,000 for the second-place team, and $500 for the third-place team. Additionally, special awards will be handed out for the most memorable, creative, or ingenious entries, highlighting the unique contributions of participating teams.

Open to participants of all ages, “Finding F.R.E.D.” invites seasoned engineers, budding storytellers, and curious minds to join in. Whether attendees come with a pre-formed team or arrive solo, ready to join forces with new acquaintances, the event is a celebration of collaborative spirit and innovative thinking.

Set to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, the competition mandates that each team includes at least one adult member to oversee any minors throughout the event. The ASU Chandler Innovation Center is located at 249 E. Chicago St.

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