The Ohio Youth Institute and World Food Prize give students global awareness of food issues

Students from the Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield recently attended the World Food Prize in Iowa, met many world leaders, and learned about fighting world hunger. Interested in this opportunity for your students?

The Ohio Youth Institute (OYI) is the youth program of the World Food Prize. The World Food Prize was first awarded in 1986, when Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug saw the need to recognize achievements in improving the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world. The state youth institute began in Borlaug’s home state of Iowa, then expanded to include Ohio and other states. The goal is to encourage high school students to take an active role in seeking solutions to global food issues.

The first step for students who want to participate in the OYI is to work with a teacher-mentor (more information here). The OYI site lists a number of factors that impact food security in selected countries. Students choose a country and key factor, research their chosen topic and write a short paper outlining their solutions. Papers are evaluated by OSU faculty, researchers and other area experts. On the day of the OYI, students, now considered Ohio Borlaug Scholars, come to OSU and present a summary of their paper, listen to a keynote speaker and participate in activities on campus. At the end of the day, each student is recognized for their efforts and a select number of youth are offered the opportunity to attend the Global Youth Institute (GYI) held in conjunction each October with the World Food Prize events.

Sally McClaskey of OYI said, “Research done for the OYI fits nicely with a number of subject areas: social studies, world history, science and FAA programs. The key factors cover a broad range of subjects (animal science, malnutrition, conflict resolution, human rights, education, to name a few), making the program adaptable to any number of subject areas.”

For more information, visit this site and sign up for the OYI newsletter by contacting McClaskey at