Heard of the ocMaker Challenge? It’s a STEM-based design competition that promotes creativity and innovation with this enterprising prompt for students: Design and build — or significantly repurpose — a product that will solve a problem, need or want.

Middle school, high school and community college teams participate by creating new products that addresses unique problems. Using 3-D modeling and 3-D printing, prototypes are designed, built, showcased and judged based on a number of criteria, including originality and functionality.

The latest batch of these student-built creations will be on display April 29 and April 30, and you can see all of them in a very cool venue. This year, the ocMaker Challenge has partnered with the Discovery Cube in Santa Ana to present the third annual ocMaker Challenge Exhibit and Competition in the Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall. Standard Discover Cube admission fees apply.

“Discovery Cube is thrilled to be the host location for such an exciting technology and engineering-based competition,” says Discovery Cube President Joe Adams. “One of our core initiatives at the Cube is to inspire, educate and positively impact the community through STEM education. This friendly competition provides a special opportunity to engage students in the various STEM fields.”

Airwolf 3D, the ocMaker Challenge’s main sponsor, is expected to provide an operational desktop 3-D printer for visitors to discover how innovators can turn computer data into physical objects, and families will be able to delve into the 3-D printing process by exploring materials and interacting with a collection of printed parts. We’re told visitors will also receive a free cat ring created on a 3-D printer.

Meanwhile, a private awards ceremony will follow on May 1. Contest winners will be presented with cash prizes from business supporters, including AirWolf 3D and MatterHackers.

 The ocMaker Challenge is Organized by the Orange County Department of Education’s Career Technical Education Partnership, or CTEp. It’s promoted by CTEoc/Vital Link and sponsored by Deputy Sector Navigators for Small Business and ICT/Digital Media of Orange County. For more information, call 714-966-3531 or visit ocmakerchallenge.com.