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Announcing our next challenge: #STEMbuildsOhio

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The pandemic has reshaped the way that Americans think about almost everything from business, to school, to shopping. Families, retailers, schools, and governments pivoted to persevere through a completely new experience. The pandemic had devastating effects from lives lost, social isolation, and economic upheaval. It also resulted in countless innovations and a renewed focus on equity, opportunity, and community.

As we turn towards life in a post-pandemic society, we’re inspired by the immense possibilities that lie ahead to rebuild our lives and communities to be even better than before. We can reimagine and rebuild our communities to be more equitable, more accessible, and more efficient. Who better to lead that reimagining than Ohio’s young innovators?

Ohio students, we invite you to join the 2021- 2022 #STEMbuildsOhio Design & Entrepreneurship Challenge. Ready to sign up your school or program? Visit designchallenge.osln.org/participate and complete our brief pre-registration form.

Infrastructure is in the news and those headlines offer educators new material for brainstorming and research. But our students don’t need to be limited by any specific bill or proposal: Students, how can you reimagine infrastructure to improve your community?

The United Nations has identified Global Goals for Sustainable Development which act as a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity now and into the future.” These 17 goals are a global call to action to ensure that we move into the future with a focus on ending poverty, reducing inequality, creating opportunities for affordable and clean energy, building sustainable cities and communities, all while preserving our oceans and forests.

This year’s challenge invites students to consider how they can improve their school, community, or world by reimagining an existing physical space, system, product, or service so that it is more equitable, accessible, or efficient. The overall topic is infrastructure. Students have some choices about how they approach the topic.

Students can select from these questions:

  • How can you repurpose an existing physical structure in your home, school or county to ensure equitable access, or improve the overall efficiency of that space?
  • What changes can you make to an existing system to improve equity, efficiency, or access for people in your school or county?
  • What changes can you make to an existing product so that it is more equitable, accessible, or eco-friendly?

For each question, students are encouraged to: 

  • Identify the problem with the current space, system or product
  • Define the target audience who will benefit from the solution
  • Create a physical model of the solution (build a physical prototype)
  • Discuss how the solution solves the problem for the target audience
  • Identify one career that is related to implementing the solution

Educators, to stay informed about design challenge events, professional development opportunities, and more, visit designchallenge.osln.org/participate and register your program or school.

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