Answers to your questions about the 2019 Ohio Design Challenge

This week, we’re featuring a roundup of frequently asked questions about this year’s design challenge—from setting up your school showcase, to participating in the Battelle showcase in May.

Once you’re done reading, please complete this form and fill us in about your school’s participation.

Q: What are the requirements for design challenge projects?
Each school will implement their design challenge in their own context, so we expect some differences. : There a few basic requirements we ask every school to follow:

  • Students work in teams of two or more.
  • Each team creates at least one prototype of their solution.
  • Schools schedule their school showcase prior to April 18, 2019.
  • Schools notify the Ohio STEM Learning Network of their school showcase date. Please use this form
  • Schools recruit an authentic audience of parents, professionals, and community experts to provide student feedback.
  • Schools identify outstanding projects from their school showcase. In early 2019, we will notify participating schools of the next steps to submit outstanding projects for participation in the Student Design Challenge Showcase in the spring.

Q: How do I organize a school showcase/exhibition of student work?
A school’s showcase gives students the opportunity to present their solutions to an authentic audience and get real-world feedback. This sharing and feedback is the most important element of a showcase. Through it, students can reflect on what they’ve learned as they progressed through the design cycle.

We recommend that you begin with the end in mind. If you aim to have students at the statewide showcase in May, plan to have your school showcase completed by April 18, 2019. Once you’ve scheduled your event, recruit members of the community to give feedback to the students. You may call them judges, panel members, or community experts. The key is creating an opportunity for students to an authentic audience and receive feedback.

One key practice: Encourage your judges ask about the changes students made to their solution throughout the process.

Q: Is there a rubric for the design challenge?
We do not provide a rubric for the challenge but you may develop one for your school. A rubric can be a helpful way to give direction for your showcase audience and detail what is expected of the students.

Q: What do you mean by prototype? What are the requirements for the prototype?
A prototype is a rough model of a solution. It can be made from cardboard, household supplies, or even items from your recycling bin. Students might make their prototype in a fab-lab or makerspace. This is a great idea, but not a requirement. Prototypes do not have to work, but students should be able to explain how it could work. The prototype could a small model. If your prototype is fully functioning, even better!

Q: Can you give more information about the Student Design Challenge Showcase at Battelle?
At Battelle, which manages the Ohio STEM Learning Network, scientists and engineers work on the world’s most challenging problems. Battelle calls these innovators “solvers” because problem-solving is their job. We aim to connect next generation of solvers to today’s solvers at Battelle. That’s why we host a showcase of design challenge solutions from students across Ohio.
We are planning to hold the Student Solver Showcase on May 8th, 2019. The event currently planned to run in the morning, from roughly 9 a.m. to noon. Selected teams will bring their prototype and any other display materials to Battelle. The format organized like a conference poster session, science fair, or gallery walk. Students will not address the entire audience. Each group will have a display space and talk to attendees as they walk through the exhibition.

Q: Is this a competition?
We do not see this as a competition. We hope students have a great experience working in teams to solve a problem and presenting their work to real-world experts. Teams are not competing against each other, rather working together to solve the problem of food insecurity from many different angles.

Q: How will Battelle choose teams to present at the statewide showcase?
Each school should identify outstanding projects from their school showcase. Battelle will invite as many of those outstanding teams as possible to participate in the Student Solver Showcase in Columbus.

In addition to the showcase at Battelle, we have reserved space at the Ohio State Fair on Thursday, August 8th to provide additional opportunities for students to share their solutions. Keep this in mind, as this may be another opportunity to engage your students and highlight your school. More details to follow.

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