Purple Plow Challenge

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The Purple Plow Challenge encourages students to research scenarios related to food, hunger and sustainability and build their own prototypes to solve the defined problem. Resources provided for facilitators, students and volunteers are written by teachers, aligned to national learning standards and reviewed by industry experts.

 

Current Challenge:

Growing Green 

Agriculture consumes large amounts of energy in the production of our food. Farms consume energy both directly through the use of diesel, electricity, propane, natural gas and renewable fuels as well as in directly through the use of fuel in the production of fertilizers, pesticides and feedstock. In this challenge, students will learn about energy in various forms and design as well as build and share a solution that diversifies energy consumption.

Entries are due November 22!

 

Past challenges:

 

Protect the Pollinators

Pollinator populations are shrinking, and several factors are contributing to this disturbing global trend. There are growing concerns as to what the impact will be on food production. Through this challenge, students will become more aware of the important role pollinators play in our daily lives and how to help protect the various populations. After thoughtful research, students will design, test and demonstrate a solution that will sustain or improve pollinator well-being.

 

Cattle Ranch Riddle

People around the world consume beef, in particular in the United States. Every day, cattle ranching families are trying to raise a healthy and safe product, while at the same time, maintaining a profitable business and being stewards of natural resources, like water and soil. How will you construct a model of a cattle ranch that addresses these concerns?

 

Farm to Food Truck Challenge

Americans enjoy an affordable and abundant food supply thanks to farming and ranching families. Every year, one U.S. farm feeds 168 people. But how does that food get from the farm to our plates? What people are involved in the process along the way? This summer, learn the story behind our food firsthand by designing a farm to food truck!

 

Save the Soil! 

Only 11% of our Earth’s land surface has the topsoil considered suitable for producing food. In the United States alone, we are losing at least 3 billion tons of topsoil a year to erosion! Without topsoil, our land becomes a desert and is not capable of producing food. Ready to dig deep to save the soil? Check out the current challenge page for the fall challenge that runs August 15th – November 1st!

 

See other past challenges. These include "H2Grow" a hydroponics challenge and "Room 2 Grow" a garden structure challenge. Facilitator guides, student guides and content guides are available for past challenges!

 

Short on time? Also make sure to check out the Purple Plow Puzzlers!

 

Puzzlers are hands-on STEM activities that can be completed in 1-2.5 hours. Puzzlers sharpen critical and creative thinking through agricultural-related activities. They follow the “create, test & improve, and share” steps in the Purple Plow engineering design process

 

 

The Purple Plow Challenge is special project brought to you by The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA) and made possible through generous support of our title sponsor, Corteva Agriscience. 

Recommended Publications

Natural Resources Ag Mag

American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

Food Waste Ag Mag

American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

A Berry Good Project

Rick Henningfeld