Congratulations to the 2020 AdCap Challenge Winning Teams!

The results are in! Out of all the entries submitted, twenty five student teams took home one thousand dollar grants. Out of those, six teams were selected as this year’s finalists, winning an additional opportunity to engage with their Challenge Question partner company this fall. Now that they’re back in school, all winning teams also have the chance to earn additional funds as they implement those winning solutions.


WAVERLY-SHELL ROCK MIDDLE SCH, IA: “Food from Dawn to Dusk”


Challenge Question 1: “How can you create partnerships in your school community to remove barriers to accessing more nutritious foods, including dairy?” (Presented by Land O’Lakes)


Our Solution: Kids are spending lots of time at school outside of the school day. We strive to give students the opportunity to get healthy and nutritious food including dairy to eat or drink at school outside of mealtimes without any obstacles. At our school, over 25% of students receive free or reduced lunch and breakfast. There is a need for access to fresh dairy and produce. Due to the fast nature of the lunches at our school, many kids grab more food they can eat, or some put on a fruit or vegetable without even intending on eating it. We would like to have a refrigerator with baskets for the cold items, as well as a warming bin for the hot foods. This food that has then been dropped off will stay in the cart or refrigerator and whenever a student needs access to good nutritious foods, it will be available. Our goal is to bridge the gap between hungry kids and giving them healthy and nutritious foods to eat, that would have otherwise been wasted.


OUR LADY OF CALVARY SCHOOL, PA: “Eat Smart and Give Back”


Challenge Question 1: “How can you create partnerships in your school community to remove barriers to accessing more nutritious foods, including dairy?” (Presented by Land O’Lakes)


Our Solution: We will begin sharing information about healthy eating habits each month with students and families. In addition to this, we will schedule virtual trips with farmers. The virtual trips will allow our students and faculty to learn more about the benefits of healthy foods and dairy. It will be an experience that will really teach them how eating healthy can have a positive effect on your body. We will work with our school on ways to help increase sales of different dairy products at school so that students can have access to healthy nutrients each day. Half of the profits will go to replenishing the stock of the foods then the other half will be donated. That money will go to local food banks and charities so that we can give back to our community. By doing this we will be able to continue the cycle of selling and donating. This will help us not only improve our school, but the community around us as well.


PEAK TO PEAK CHARTER SCHOOL, CO: “Bee Active Initiative”


Challenge Question 2: “What idea can you come up with to help us make sure youth have information on food and food production that’s grounded in science and real farm practices, and that’s easy to understand and relevant to their lives?”(Presented by Corteva Agriscience)


Our Solution: Our solution is constructed around beekeepers for a few main reasons. Firstly, beekeeping as a job helps to strengthen the gene pool by adding healthy bees back into the population and bringing the bee population back is essential. Alongside other statistics, it is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination provided by bees. This is apparent through the numerous crops that are dependent on the bee population: avocados, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash, and sunflowers for oil, cucumbers, citrus fruit, peaches, kiwis, cherries, cranberries, melons, etc.. Our group takes a two-prong method towards solving this issue. Our first approach is to sponsor local beekeepers and farmers in order to sustain and help the bee population. Additionally, our group plans to raise awareness about the impact of bees on food production and the economy by having beekeepers educate the youth. We plan on visiting elementary and high school classrooms—such as the Environmental Science and 9th grade innovation class and inviting beekeepers to speak on the importance of local beehives and beekeeping. And, through additional sponsorships and activities, such as creating initiatives that allow classrooms to ‘adopt a hive’ and aid in the planting of pollinators, we will have a direct impact on our local community as well. It is crucial to step forward with education but also direct impact, as we further the fight to protect pollinators.


RIO VISTA HIGH SCHOOL, TX: “Eagles Believing in Tomorrow”


Challenge Question 2:“What idea can you come up with to help us make sure youth have information on food and food production that’s grounded in science and real farm practices, and that’s easy to understand and relevant to their lives?”(Presented by Corteva Agriscience)


Our Solution: The reason that we chose the solution to build a greenhouse is that it allows us to experience the process of creating our foods hands-on. We have all seen firsthand in the past month how important knowing about food is to our safety. Adding the greenhouse would allow teachers to teach basic things that we need to know as well as their subjects in an interdisciplinary and cross-curricular effort. We feel that food can be taught through both multiple subjects and multiple grade levels. Our goal is to put the greenhouse somewhere centrally located so that the entire school district- from kindergarten to seniors can access the facility if their teacher desires. Different subjects could use the area as well. People naturally think about the agricultural, science, and culinary department using the facilities but what they don’t add in is how math can get involved through mapping out the plot using geometry or recording the data found, even basic adding of the plants would be helpful for the younger children. In English a class could go out there and come back to write about what they saw. Many subjects are now immersed in their discipline as well as learning about how our food is grown. With all the interdisciplinary collaboration going on, it is only natural that food brings us together and enhances our school spirit. We end with this quote from Vince Gowman, “The best education does not happen at a desk, but rather engaged in everyday living-hands on, exploring, in an active relationship with life.”


ROSS HIGH SCHOOL, OH: “The OLC (Outdoor Learning Center).”


Challenge Question 3: “How would you re-think the space and experience in your cafeteria to increase efficiency, decrease food waste and encourage consumption of nutritious foods?” (Presented by Domino’s)


Our Solution: Our team recognizes the need to address the important awareness of the immense wastefulness of food and the impact it has on our environment. First, our team designed a more efficient layout for our school cafeteria to adhere to. This way, healthier foods appear more visually appealing and students are further aware of what decisions pertaining to their lunches coincide with the established My Plate suggestions. We also formulated a design to lessen wasted space in trash bags by instructing students to stack their lunch trays to be thrown away. Next, we devised a plan to minimize food waste so that it does not end up in landfills. By implementing a better sorting station with clear signs that list every item that corresponds with one of four clear categories which include trash, recyclables, a sharing cart, and a compost bin, our team is able to utilize compost composed of unwanted food to develop school gardens. These gardens have a clear locality positioned at our middle school. This outdoor learning center (OLC) will not only influence children’s views on healthy food choices from a younger age by allowing them to grow their own fruits and vegetables but will also diminish the extensive unnecessary food waste that results from school lunches by allowing it to be composted.


MORTON HIGH SCHOOL, TX: “Student-Led Moving on Up!”


Challenge Question 3: “How would you re-think the space and experience in your cafeteria to increase efficiency, decrease food waste and encourage consumption of nutritious foods?” (Presented by Domino’s)


Our Solution: Our big idea is the concept of “student led”. Our proposal is to transform our cafeteria and outdoor courtyard into an appealing environment based on input from student surveys; giving students the power to direct the transformation. Our goal is to encourage social connection through the environment and experiences of our cafeteria. We interviewed and coordinated with two architects to review the floor plan and determine innovative solutions for seating and environmental atmosphere. Our survey revealed that students would enjoy a choice in seating options. We will offer a variety of seating choices; giving students the freedom to choose where they want to sit, eat, and socialize. We will purchase a combination of round tables, booths, dining bars, soft seating, and outdoor tables. Coordinating with the agriculture teacher, we will purchase and assist in maintaining garden boxes, fruit trees, and towers; offering students fruit, vegetables, and herbs grown fresh on-site. We expect that this space will be used not only as a dining area, but a place where students and the community will have activities, meetings, concerts, plays, and group studying. Based on student input, we will enhance the atmosphere of our dining space in several ways. We will adorn a large wall with a school spirit mural, purchase new windows and decorative artificial light fixtures, display attractive art, and provide accolades for student accomplishments.