Design challenge resources

Here are a few resources to help Ohio teachers and students succeed in this year’s statewide design challenge. For more information about the challenge, including signing up to participate, click here.

Special category: Intellectual Property

We’d like to recommend one resource for students that’s not directly about reliable access to healthy food. As you develop your idea, consider learning about how to protect the intellectual property you’ve created with your solution. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s resources page gives you everything you need to know.

Agricultural systems

What effect do inputs have on outputs in an agricultural system?

What grows in Ohio?

How does technology influence the ratio of inputs to outputs?

Big Data

What kind of data is being collected?

  • Soil health (nutrient levels and pH) [1], [2]

How is it being collected?

How is big data changing the future of agriculture?



How can biofuels impact environmental concerns?

How does the range of added value products (bioproducts) contribute to the bioeconomy?



How might biotechnology methods support sustainable, nutritious food systems and reduce food waste?

How might food fortification affect public health, and what are the challenges?


Food affordability/quantity

What factors determine the costs of foods?

How much food is produced?

Why are people still hungry?


Food waste

What can be done in your local community to reduce food waste?

What role does marketing/communication play in purchasing? (food labels, expiration dates, safe storage)


Government policy and farming/International trade

Government policy influences many aspects of food production. What governmental policies are impacting farms today and what might be some new ways to positively impact farmer behaviors?

How might farmers be encouraged to use the most up-to-date technologies to address environmental concerns?


How important is animal feed?

Do pollinators make a difference?


Local/Global Markets

How might seasonal availability affect local/global purchases/buying decisions?

How realistic/possible is it to rely solely on local markets?

How does infrastructure play a role in availability? What are the elements of infrastructure?



How might farming methods affect sustainability (i.e. conventional, no-till, strip tillage, organic, livestock, grass-fed systems, non-GMO)?

What are the [economic, environmental, market] consequences of our dietary choices?



How are modern agricultural practices impacting water quality?

How can conventional/modern agricultural practices impact water use?