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Stay tuned for our 2022 Challenge Announcement, coming soon.

From last year's competition

SA Smart 2020 Essentials

​Main Competition Challenge:

Digital Inclusion


Special Competition Challenge:



325 students

78 teams

Eight school districts

Learn about the winning teams

Visit us on Facebook




Many San Antonio residents watched as 120,000 people sought food assistance after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many residents were in those food assistance lines.  Many were shocked to learn that 60,000 people required food assistance before the pandemic.

The SA Smart 2021 Challenge:

How can San Antonio drastically reduce food insecurity among residents?

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Registration closed.

Follow us on Facebook for updates on 2021's competition and information on SA Smart 2022.


By 2040, 1.1 million new people will call San Antonio home. While this future creates many challenges, it also creates opportunities. One opportunity is to drive student learning through smart city challenges. Join us as we create learning opportunities for students rooted in the challenges faced by our city.

What is SA Smart?

SA Smart is the Mayor's K-12 Smart City Challenge. Student teams in grades 7-12 will research a San Antonio-specific smart city problem and propose a strategy, product, or service as a solution.

What events happen in SA Smart?

SA Smart starts with a January Launch Announcement.  Then teams prepare an idea, register, and join the February Competition Clinic.  Through March, teams work on their Research Pitch Deck.  In April, finalists get the help of mentors.  In late May, finalists deliver their pitch at Mayor's Cup Competition Day.

Who can participate in SA Smart?

The competition is open to any 4-6 member San Antonio area student team, for students in grades 7-12, with a teacher or responsible adult acting as their sponsor.

What will the competition topic be?

2021's topic is food insecurity.

What will students do?

What will they learn?

Students select and research a problem related to the competition topic. Their research will likely include STEM topics, and may also include civics and policy topics. Using a template we provide, they'll share their research results and recommend a strategy, product, or solution using a pitch template provided by our team. Students will also learn a lot about what it means to live in and help develop a smart city.

What's the benefit for teachers?

The topic provides a foundation for real-world problem exploration by students.  The competition design applies the concepts of Project-Based Learning (PBL) and of STEM and STEAM education. Teachers will see these concepts in action. 

What will Competition Day be like?

SA Smart Competition Day will be a professionally run, high energy event where students present their research and recommendations. An awards ceremony will be held, and prizes awarded to the best performing team/s.

What will the prizes be?

The winning team will receive the Mayor's Cup.  2nd Place and possibly 3rd Place awards will be given based on bracket size.  Digital badges will be awarded to all finalists.  The teams with the top three scores will receive a voucher for additional entrepreneurship training from partner EPICenter.  Additional prizes will be determined with sponsors.

Who is the SA Smart team?

SA Smart is a cooperative effort between the Mayor's office and local STEM education and other non-profits including SAMSAT, Communities in Schools-San Antonio, Education Service Center-Region 20, the San Antonio STEM Council, the Alamo STEM Ecosystem, City of San Antonio Planning Department, City of San Antonio Innovation Department, CivTech SA, Geekdom, CPS Energy and the EpiCenter. A board manages the effort, and they select judges for the final competition. See our Partners & Team page for details.

How Can I Learn More?

To learn more about the competition, schedule, and the team running SA Smart,
visit the pages below, or contact us.
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