How Design Challenges Empower Students to Solve Problems and Contextualize Learning

Teaching students how to solve real-world problems, and giving them experience solving real-world problems, is critical to their development as future problem solvers – and that’s why, three years ago, the Ohio Stem Learning Network (OSLN) started hosting statewide design challenges. This year, OSLN partnered with Education Projects, Ohio Corn and Wheat, and the Ohio Soybean Council to ask students to imagine, prototype, and design a solution to food insecurity in their life, community, or world.

Heather Sherman, director of Ohio’s STEM Learning Network and STEM Relationship Manager for Battelle Education, and Jeanne Gogolski, founding partner of, one of the industry partners for this year’s challenge, talk about design challenges.