Experimenting, Prototyping, Inventing and Creating
Project-based learning, real-world relevance
Participating kids research, create and present an invention or idea that would improve life for kids like those at St. Jude.
Meets modern standards
Designed by educators, St. Jude EPIC Challenge meets Next Generation Science Standards.
Flexible and adaptable
St. Jude EPIC Challenge follows a flexible five-lesson format that can be implemented in the classroom or from home.
1) Join the challenge
Teachers and parents can register their schools or organizations to take the challenge, or have their students participate on their own.
2) Encourage your students to be creative
After you register, we'll send you a toolkit with everything you need to guide kids through the research and design process as they bring their inventions to life.
3) Help your students give back
Students can share their inventions with family and friends and seek "funding" for their idea by asking for donations to support the kids of St. Jude.
4) Celebrate what your kids have accomplished
We'll be awarding prizes for the top innovations and top fundraisers. In addition, kids can earn EPIC prizes and experience for every dollar raised, all while ensuring families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
Join the challenge in the
classroom or at home
Register to receive our free lesson plan and student resources, perfect for in-classroom activation and distance learners.
Parents and students
Empower little learners to make a difference for kids just like them. Register your family and unleash creativity to fight cancer.
Esperanza Alcorta, " My Comfy Pillow"
Taking home the top student innovation honor called the Hope Award is 9-year-old Esperanza Alcorta of Silver City, New Mexico, who reflected on her younger sister's cancer journey when creating her invention called My Comfy Pillow. The heart-shaped prototype, which she researched, designed and assembled herself, was created as a "soft, fluffy, huggable" way to help St. Jude patients stay relaxed as they go through treatment. Esperanza received a special message from the Inspiration4 crew as they orbited Earth on their multi-day mission.
Indian Land Elementary, "Buddy Blanket"
A second grade class from Indian Land Elementary in Indian Land, South Carolina, received the top classroom innovation award for their invention of the Buddy Blanket. Teacher Michelle Anderson brainstormed with her class what the blanket should look like and what it should say. The prototype featured a handwritten note of encouragement for the kids in treatment at St. Jude. For winning, the class filled a time capsule for transport to space on Inspiration4.
The recipient of the Generosity Award for top fundraiser is Neela Sembroski of Everett, Washington, who raised $1,675 for St. Jude. Her prototype is a beanie that displays different colored lights depending on the wearer's mood, helped her rally dozens of supporters to exceed her fundraising goal of $1,500. She drew inspiration from St. Jude patients and her father aerospace engineer Christopher Sembroski who is part of the Inspiration4 crew.
2020-2021 EPIC Achievement Award
Unleashing creativity to help St. Jude kids