Statewide Design Challenge
Bring STEM to any school with a design challenge
Design challenges are activities or competitions that students participate in to solve real-world problems. Through the challenge, students engage in creative problem-solving, boosting skills like collaboration and grit.
For many schools, participating in the statewide design challenge was the perfect way to begin implementing high-quality STEM education best practices.
Annual statewide challenge
Each year, the Ohio STEM Learning Network hosts a design challenge where students collaborate to create a workable solution to key issues facing our world. Any school in Ohio can participate in the challenge.
Over the course of the challenge, we provide:
- Online resources for teachers and students
- Professional development events to support teachers
- Participation certificates for every student
- Regional and state level awards each spring
Health and well-being aboard Starlab
This year’s statewide design challenge features an exciting space program called Starlab. Students will explore what it means to live and work in space.
This year’s challenge is:
How do we improve the health and well-being of astronauts aboard Starlab orbiting the earth? Develop a plan, system, or product to positively impact the sustainability of the physical and/or mental health of those living in space for an extended period of time.
Dates and deadlines
- May 12: Challenge announced
- August 7: Challenge opens
- August 12: Please hold for a special kick-off event for the challenge
- December 8: Deadline for student designs to optional sticker competition
- January 12, 2024: Teachers submit student solutions
- February 1, 2024: Hub winners announced and selected students invited to state showcase
- February 23, 2024: State showcase in-person on Battelle’s main campus in Columbus for top teams
Each participating school will submit a single solution, created by a student or team of students.*
Solutions will typically include:
- A presentation clearly communicating the proposed idea that could include slides, a poster, or prototype
- Evidence showing the path to the solution through the engineering design cycle
* At this time, student teams will be limited to four participants. Final details and requirements for submissions will be published in an upcoming guidebook for educators.
Optional: Sticker design contest
Students will be invited to create a sticker design based around the challenge.
The winning designs will be produced and distributed to all of the schools participating in this year’s design challenge.
The design will also be featured on the awards for challenge winners.
Students do not need to participate in the statewide design challenge to enter a sticker design to the competition.
Coming soon: Guidebook for participating educators
Participants in last year’s #STEMsecuresOhio Design Challenge, received a brief guidebook. The guidebook provided one-stop shop for quick answers about getting started with design thinking, sample resources, and much more.
The design challenge guidebook will be updated for this year’s challenge to support health and well-being aboard Starlab.
Starlab will be a free-ﬂying commercial space station, following the International Space Station after the current station’s retirement in 2030.
Elements from Starlab will be a key part of the George Washington Carver Science Park, the ﬁrst-ever science park with assets in space as well as on the ground. Scientists and engineers in Ohio will help develop Starlab through partners including Voyager Space, Nanoracks, Airbus, Zin Technologies in Cleveland, Hilton Hotels, and other companies.
Starlab and the George Washington Carver Science Park will be anchored at Ohio State University.