The MDJIC competition was created by a group of Troy High School students who had a shared interest in STEM fields and believed in spreading STEM throughout their community. The team first met as members of the Troy High School Shell Eco-Marathon team, which designs and builds an ultra fuel-efficient vehicle and competes among teams from other high schools and universities. The team was fortunate enough to have the resources technology, and advice needed to conduct experiments in testing their vehicle. Intrigued by the research experience, Troy High student Runxuan Jiang hoped to also spread this type of involvement to students in middle schools who do not have access to labs and technology. Along with students Sahil Shah and Raul Dutta, Runxuan created the 2017 MDJIC where middle school students can present an idea and gain funding and mentorship for their own innovative project.