Ohio Students Tackle Hunger and Present Ideas on the Future of Agriculture

COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 8, 2019)—Ohio students from 25 schools presented their prototypes and plans to improve access to healthy food for an audience of leaders in agriculture and STEM education at Battelle today. The students presented to representatives of the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Corn and Wheat, the Ohio Soybean Council, Battelle and the Office of Lt. Governor Jon Husted.

Ninety students visited Battelle for the event, representing more than 4,000 Ohio students who participated in the 2019 Statewide Ohio Design Challenge, organized by the Ohio STEM Learning Network. The network is a public-private partnership managed by  Battelle.

This year’s statewide design challenge raised the bar for students and provided more support to teachers. Every participating student team was required to build or design a prototype, showcasing their idea. Their teachers gathered together for a day-long professional development session on October 18 at the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.

At the event, students heard from: Paolo DeMaria, Ohio’s Superintendent for Public Instruction; David Glass, Central Ohio Regional Liaison for Lt. Governor Jon Husted; Jim Love, an expert in the use of drones in agriculture from Beck’s Hybrids, an Indiana-based seed company; Lou Von Thaer, Battelle President and CEO; and Aimee Kennedy, Battelle Senior Vice President of Education, Philanthropy and STEM Learning. 

"The real world is full of design challenges," Superintendent DeMaria said. "Participating in this experience is a great way for students to learn and practice design thinking skills and deepen their science and technology knowledge, better preparing them for future success. I applaud Battelle for their partnership and their commitment to transforming the education experience for Ohio's students.”

 “These students and this event highlight what Ohio is doing right – getting more people interested in and prepared for STEMM industries, and also preparing them for the workforce of today and tomorrow,” said David Glass, Representative of Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation.

“Designing prototypes, working in teams, and learning about breakthrough technologies builds skills in students they will use the rest of their lives,” said Battelle’s Aimee Kennedy. 

Ohio Corn & Wheat and the Ohio Soybean Council provided access to experts and resources for teachers throughout the initiative.

"Agriculture is Ohio’s #1 industry and we are excited to see all the innovative ideas around food production that Ohio’s students have created to address food security,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive director of Ohio Corn & Wheat. “We are hoping that they will be inspired to seek out careers in the agriculture industry and bring their skills to help feed the world."

"Ohio soybean farmers have been working for many years to educate and engage young Ohioans with the tremendous opportunities in food and agriculture careers," said Kirk Merritt, Ohio Soybean Council executive director. "This program showcases the talent we have here in the state and how science and technology can be used to create innovative and sustainable solutions for future generations."

Participating schools include: 

  • Bio-Med Science Academy (Rootstown)
  • Bishop Flaget (Chillicothe)
  • Canal Winchester Middle School (Groveport)
  • Chase STEMM Academy (Toledo)
  • Chillicothe Intermediate School (Chillicothe)
  • Chillicothe Primary School (Chillicothe)
  • Dayton Regional STEM School (Kettering)
  • Graham Elementary School (St. Paris)
  • ISTEM Geauga Early College High School (Painesville)
  • James N. Gamble Montessori High School (Cincinnati)
  • Metro Early College High School (Columbus)
  • Metro Institute of Technology (Columbus)
  • National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School (Akron)
  • New Albany Primary School (New Albany)
  • Northside Intermediate School (Alliance)
  • Reynoldsburg High School (HS)2 (Reynoldsburg)
  • Saint Ambrose School (Brunswick)
  • Saint Joseph Parish School (Amerherst)
  • SCOPES Academy at Unioto Elementary (Chillicothe)
  • Springfield High School (Springfield)
  • STEAMM Academy @ Hartford Middle School (Canton)
  • Summit Road STEM Elementary (Reynoldsburg)
  • Thurgood Marshall STEM High School (Dayton)
  • Tri-State STEM+M Early College High School (South Point)
  • Winchester Trail Elementary School (Canal Winchester)

About the Ohio STEM Learning Network

The Ohio STEM Learning Network was created in 2008 with five schools. Today, the network has grown to 69 total STEM schools, which enroll more than 18,000 students. The schools are supported by seven regional hubs.

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit  www.battelle.org.


May 08, 2019


Battelle Media Relations

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T.R. Massey
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Office: 1.614.424.5544 
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