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2024 ACTE Student Trophy Design Contest

ACTE is excited to announce our fourth annual student contest to re-design the 3D-printed trophies for the ACTE Excellence Awards. The winning trophy design will be 3D-printed by Stratasys and presented to the 10 national award winners at the 2024 ACTE Awards Gala. Learn more about last year's winner. 


What is the goal?
The goal for contest entrants is to design a trophy to celebrate the ACTE Excellence Award winners  

What is the prize?
The first-place designers will receive:

  • $1,000 scholarship prize for the winning team 
  • a free one-year lease of a 3D printer and materials for the winner's school, courtesy of Stratasys  
  • the winner and teacher to be recognized at the 2024 ACTE Awards Gala in front of ACTE award winners, leaders, and 400+ attendees
  • a 3D-printed copy of their award, courtesy of Stratasys
  • one year complimentary ACTE membership for the student(s) and their teacher
  • recognition in ACTE's promotional channels and Techniques magazine

Who can enter?
The contest is open to secondary, postsecondary and adult CTE students in 3D design courses or other CAD courses. Students may enter as individuals or as teams of no more than two (2) people (please only submit one application per team). All team members must be enrolled as students in an educational institution during the semester/term in which they contribute to the design. Each entry must be entirely the original work of the persons identified in the entry. The contest is not open to any persons employed, past or present, as a professional in 3D printing.

Can educators help with their students' projects?
Educators may advise students, but should not take on a significant role in developing the designs.

How do I enter the contest?
Teams should submit their entries online here by May 1, 2023.  


  • Team information & completed release form 
  • Brief bio (300 words max)
  • Photo/headshot of entrant(s)
  • Design file (see requirements below)
  • Rendering of 3D Design (the output or the final visualization in a three-dimensional form which gives an idea of how the project will look if built in real life)



  • DIMENSIONS: The design should be no larger than 10” tall x 6” wide x 6” deep. If your design is larger, please scale down the STL file before submitting.
  • DESIGN ELEMENTS: The design must incorporate:
    • the ACTE logo (you will be disqualified if it does not include the logo)
    • a flat surface on the bottom of the design [4”- 4” in diameter] so the trophy can be affixed to a wooden base.
  • Design must be printable and able to withstand travel (ex. not too fragile or breakable as a 3D object)
  • FILE FORMAT: Your entry must be submitted as an STL file, which can be exported from most CAD software packages (see more information on how to export an STL file here). We will not accept any other file type.
  • Do not incorporate words or numbers in their design (ex. ‘Teacher of the Year,” “2024,” etc.)
  • You may upload up to 6 separate files if your design incorporates separate attachments or moving parts. Please DO NOT submit more than one design entry as part of the same entry form. Please upload the FULL DESIGN (as it will look put together) here, and if needed use the separate file upload options below to add your separate attachments. If you do not submit one file with the FULL DESIGN you will be disqualified.
  • Please be sure your design is inclusive to all CTE professions.

Do you have any tips for my design?
When the selection team reviews the designs, they will consider the following:

  • Is the design visually appealing and interesting? Does it make creative use of 3D space?
  • Can you envision this design being used as the template for a national award trophy?
  • Is the design printable and will it withstand travel to and from the ACTE conference? (ex. not too fragile or breakable as a 3D object)
  • Need inspiration? Check out last years' design  for an idea of the variety and type of designs that made it to the final rounds.

Career and technical education (CTE) covers a large variety of content areas. It is recommended that designs do not allude to one specific content area (ex. agricultural education), as teachers from all CTE content areas are eligible for the Excellence Awards. Designs should reflect the prestige and values of the ACTE Excellence Awards program. The winning design for the ACTE Excellence Awards trophy will be creative, visually appealing, and adhere to the required specifications. Aside from the ACTE logo, we do not recommend designers incorporate words in their design (ex. 'Teacher of the Year,' etc.) 

Who will be judging the designs?
Designs will be reviewed by Stratasys, ACTE staff, ACTE volunteers, and the Board of Directors to ensure they meet design specs. ACTE will select the winner. Winners will be notified August.

What's the fine print?
ACTE retains the copyright on any submitted material and reserves the right to use the material, edit the design to accommodate production needs in any way or format it sees fit.

For more information or questions about submissions, please contact ACTE staff at dlampe@acteonline.org.