April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024 – The AEOP Veterans Appreciation Challenge, in collaboration with the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) and Future Engineers, today announced the two winners of the 2024 3D pin design competition. In its third year, the AEOP Veterans Appreciation Challenge, formerly known as the “We [Heart] Veterans Pin Design Challenge,” invited students across the country in grades 4–12 to use their creativity and engineering skills to create a 3D pin to honor U.S. military veterans. 

Last month, AEOP announced the top 20 finalists, which included 10 finalists from each grade band, fourth through eighth grades and ninth through 12th grades. The 2024 winners are Asitai B., a 5th-grade student from Cary, North Carolina, and William R., a 12th-grade student from Utica, Kentucky. 

The two grand prize winners will head to Columbus, Ohio in May on a fully-funded trip to attend the renowned special Memorial Day event at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. Asitai and William will meet and present their winning pins to the veterans. Additionally, they will both have the honor of gifting a cutting-edge 3D printer to the school, library or organization of their choice.

“I was thinking about the pin, about how I can express gratitude for the great work and heroism,” Asitai said when asked about the design. Asitai entered the contest to “express love and gratitude” to veterans through love for creating 3D designs. One day, the fifth grader dreams of becoming a pilot.

“The front of the design displays a flag with the definition of the word ‘hero,’” William explains. “That is the word that I think of when I think of a veteran. The back displays ‘Thank you for your service!’ and has a hole where the safety pin gets inserted.”

View Asitai’s Valor Pin and William’s Veterans’ Pin to see the winning designs and hear more about each pin directly from the students. 

All the 20 finalists will have their pin designs 3D printed and distributed at the Memorial Day event. The students will also each receive five prints of their unique design as well as a $100 gift card toward a professional 3D print. Learn more about the challenge and how to join in the next competition here. View the full submission gallery here.

About the Army Educational Outreach Program

The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) seeks to provide an accessible pathway of STEM opportunities to attract, develop, and mentor the next generation of our nation’s diverse talent through U.S. Army educational outreach programs. AEOP offers our nation’s youth, young professionals and educators opportunities for meaningful, real-world STEM experiences, competitions and paid internships alongside U.S. Army researchers. From elementary school through to post doctoral students and educators, participants of all proficiency levels, interests, ethnic, economic and academic backgrounds are encouraged to participate in AEOP. For more information on AEOP, visit usaeop.com. Follow AEOP on X, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About Battelle

Battelle is an independent nonprofit organization that advances science and technology to have the greatest impact on our society and economy. With more than 90 years of experience, we turn knowledge into profound innovation. And we use our proceeds to reinvest in the advancement of science and technology, as well as build schools to advance STEM programs.Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle provides comprehensive scientific solutions to companies and government agencies across multiple markets, including: health, industry, national security, infrastructure, and environment. For more information, visit battelle.org. Follow Battelle on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

About Future Engineers

Future Engineers hosts online contests and challenges for K-12 students. Previous challenges have helped produce historic achievements – from naming NASA’s Perseverance rover to manufacturing the first student-designed 3D print in space. All challenges are offered free for student and classroom participation. For more information, visit futureengineers.org. Follow Future Engineers on X, Facebook, and Instagram.


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Morgan Livingston

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