$500 – ‘Mayor’s Challenge’ for all Students


Traffic flow, environmental water issues, noxious weeds, erosion and more adversely affect all of Washington State.  Consider a project solving these problems and be part of the solution for everyone!  Have another idea?  Submit it! 

 Mayor’s Challenge 2022  HERE ~ On-line application HERE

Mayor Challenge 2021

Pick a Project Topic – Solve a Problem in Your City:

  • Drone Identification of Noxious Weeds
  • Eelgrass Propagation
  • Erosion
  • Sea Level Rise (Impact Mitigation for Shorelines)
  • Storm & Waste Water Overflows
  • Traffic Patterns / Congestion
  • Trash/Waste Reduction and Reuse
  • Water Quality / Algae Growth

Do you have solutions?

Two proposals will be chosen for funding the Mayor’s Challenge as part of the Washington State Science & Engineering Fair (WSSEF). Students must be eligible for the WSSEF to participate.

How will YOU make a difference solving today’s problems?

All cities have problems that need to be solved to better the community and its residents. In solving your city’s problems you may discover a methodology adaptable to solving problems in other cities or possibly on a larger scale.

Today’s innovative research technologies are within your grasp to make new discoveries and scientific breakthroughs and Mayor Wheeler is offering resources to assist you to succeed.

So…are you up to the challenge?

Please review the below challenge information or download the Mayor’s Challenge 2020 (PDF) to learn more.

Challenge Criteria

  • All Washington State students grades 1 – 12 are eligible for this challenge.
  • Define a testable solution to problems within the “Mayor’s Challenge” topics list. Although the eight published “Mayor’s Challenge” are eligible topics, the focus topics  are Drone ID of Noxious Weeds, and Water Quality/Algae Growth.
  • For the focus topics, fill in the online application to complete your proposal. Click here to see the requirements of the application. Once you apply, your proposal will be sent to City of Bremerton staff for review.
  • Project vetting is strongly recommended to refine your project scope toward a viable solution.
  • City staff will convene two panels to select proposals for a monetary stipend. Panels will convene on October 1st to review all proposals submitted through September 30th, and again on November 1st to review all proposals submitted through November 30th. (Please note that this process improves the chances for proposals submitted by September 30th, as all proposals not selected in the 1st round will get another consideration in the 2nd round.)
  • Proposals from the two focus topics will be selected during the first and second rounds up to a maximum of 12 proposals.
  • The school of each proposal selected will be awarded a $500 stipend to support development of the project outlined in the proposal. Any funds remaining from the stipend may be used to support their student’s participation in the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair program.
  • A Project Review Conference with a City mentor/point of contact will be set up following notification that the proposal has been selected. Additional conferences/communication will be scheduled periodically between the City mentor and the school/student, following the needs of the project.
  • Proving, or disproving, your hypothesis is acceptable as both can be valuable to identifying long-term solutions.
  • Student/school agrees to the City of Bremerton possibly using the solution/concept, but the student retains their solution or concept ownership.

City Resources Available to Assist You

  • Mentors – City of Bremerton Public Works Personnel & Bremerton Parks Department Personnel. A primary mentor/point of contact will be assigned to the student/school team leading each selected proposal.
  • Professionals – Technicians, Engineers and Qualified Experts in scientific and engineering fields (on a limited basis, scheduled through your mentor/point of contact).
  • If possible and appropriate, field visits may be arranged for testing and data collection.
  • Interaction with City personnel may be scheduled to gather information and clarify problematic areas.


  • The project must be eligible for the Washington State Science & Engineering Fair (WSSEF).
  • Student(s) are expected to attend and present their project at the 2020 WSSEF.
  • Judging for the “Mayor’s Challenge” special award occurs during the 2020 WSSEF.
  • Your “Mayor’s Challenge” project is judged using the WSSEF guidelines.

Mayor’s Challenge – Awards & Rewards

In addition to the stipend which will have already been received, students presenting their project are eligible for any or all of the following special awards and career boosts:

  • Your mentor and other City of Bremerton staff members will be glad to be a reference for you in your future endeavors.
  • Upon entering college, you have the potential for an internship with the City of Bremerton.
  • You will receive a City of Bremerton framed special award certificate.
  • Mayor Wheeler’s personal letter of appreciation reflecting on your project and how it assists solving the City’s problems.  This unique letter is beneficial for your college applications and future career portfolio.

Mayor’s Challenge Application

  • To submit your proposals, please fill in the online application here.

Mayor’s Challenge Focus Topics & Point of Contact List

Example:  Topic Focus

1.   Drone Identification of Noxious Weeds
Many cities want to improve their city appearance and livability for residents. Noxious weeds, especially Scotch broom has out-competed native vegetation in many areas, causes serious allergy reactions in many people, and detracts from quality of life. Let’s make progress in eliminating Scotch broom, and an important step in that elimination is identifying its locations throughout cities. We think drones have the potential to help.

Contact for questions regarding proposal submittal (email only please):  
Katie Ketterer, Project Manager, Public Works & Utilities

2.   Water Quality / Algae Growth 
Many cities want to restore water quality in their lakes, rivers, estuaries and other water bodies. We expect a multi-faceted approach will be necessary. What are the most important steps to take first? What might be the most impactful measures needed for the fastest results? What might be the most impactful measures to take that are also the least expensive?

Contact for questions regarding proposal submittal (email only please):
Teresa Smith, Environmental Technician, Water Resources Division

Still have more questions? Please contact…

City of Bremerton
Katie Ketterer, Project Manager, Public Works & Utilities

Washington State Science & Engineering Fair
Lois Jane Lugg, WSSEF Fair Director