The future is STEM: Judging the IDEA Regional Competition: read an engineer’s perspective


President’s Letter

IDEA Members,

Welcome back to the Spring Semester.  I hope everyone had a great break over the holidays.  This fall we had a great conference with over 40 drafting and design educators and some great presenters.  At the fall conference we concluded the changeover from the Illinois Drafting Educators Association to the Illinois Design Educators Association.  We also sent out some submissions from students for a new logo for our name change.  We have narrowed that down from your voting and we will be presenting the final new logo this spring.  As the drafting and design industry changes and evolves we will continue to make changes to prepare our students for the careers of tomorrow

It is now time to start registering for the spring competitions.  If you haven’t competed before and are interested in competing, the only criteria is that you as a teacher pay your member dues of $40 to IDEA and then pay the $10 per student registration fee to the regional competition.  There is no additional fee for the top 2 students in each category at each regional who qualify for the state competition in Bloomington in April.  The registration documents are via a Google Docs form under the competition then teachers then school/teacher registration form tab.  Registration will be handled by Joe Sieczkowski and PayPal is available again this year.  Also, remember that the Dr. Ryan Brown scholarship is available to Illinois State University for anyone who is going to attend there and has competed in our organization. 

This year we have also opened up the architectural and engineering design projects to all regionals.  The design briefs are already posted and students will present at the regional in front of judges to advance to the state competition.  The board has decided this year that 2 of the 3 members need to be present to be eligible to present at the state competition.  This allows one alternate student who also may work on this project with their groups.  We encourage all members to choose their groups wisely as you should plan on being available on Saturday, April 14th if you qualify for state. 

As we continue to modernize as an organization we would also like to continue to grow.  Please get the word out to other teachers about our competition and encourage them to compete.  This doesn’t mean that a teacher has to be a drafting teacher to compete.  We have project lead the way schools as well as some teachers in other areas that teach drafting and design and we would love to have as many teachers bring their students and compete as possible.  We are also always looking to add new competition areas as well if you have any good ideas.  We are still looking for other regional sites and if there is not a regional near you please let us know you are interested and we will do our best to try to expand to your area. 

Thanks for all the work you put in as teachers to get your students ready and thanks to the students for taking your time and effort to compete in this competition.  Also thanks to our board who does the work behind the scenes to make sure this organization the competition continues to work smoothly.  Lastly, thanks to all the regional directors and Illinois State for hosting our competitions and putting all the work in that is required to facilitate them.  If you have any feedback or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or any other member of our board.  Thanks again and good luck to everyone this spring!


Brian Rick


IDEA Calendar

  • Regional Competition: Feb 22 - March 9, 2018
  • State Competition: April 14, 2018
  • IDEA Fall Conference: October 26, 2017
  • ITEC-IDEA Conference October 27-28, 2017