K-12 teachers, students invited to sign up for statewide ‘design challenge’
Des Moines – The Iowa Department of Education today announced the Build Iowa’s Future Design Challenge, an opportunity for K-12 students to create innovative projects, connect them to careers and compete for up to $1,000 awards for their schools.
The Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning and the Home Builders Association of Iowa (HBA of Iowa) are hosting the challenge to engage more students in authentic professional experiences that transform education for the workforce. The Iowa Association of Community College Trustees, Kreg Tool Company and Pella Corporation are sponsoring the challenge awards. The challenge is in keeping with the Future Ready Iowa goal of 70 percent of the workforce having education or training beyond high school by 2025.
“The Build Iowa’s Future Design Challenge will help students see how subjects like math and science can be applied in the real world while cultivating creativity, problem-solving and other critical skills,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “Through work-based learning opportunities, students see the connection between the classroom and the workplace where they can explore and prepare for careers that fit them. The challenge is available to all students in rural and urban communities across Iowa, and I’m excited to see the projects they produce.”
“With approximately 7.5 million construction jobs projected nationwide by 2026, and ongoing industry expansion, we want students to explore those opportunities for great-paying jobs. This project makes that introduction in a creative way,” said HBA of Iowa Executive Officer Jay Iverson. “Our members are excited to see what students are able to come up with.”
Elementary and middle school students can participate in the Iowa Home Design Challenge by constructing a model home using toy plastic construction bricks, wood blocks or other materials of their choice. High school students can participate in the Iowa Dream and Design Challenge, which involves conceptualizing and designing a project that could improve their community, such as a school athletic storage facility, a ramp for a home of someone with limited mobility or a prairie birdhouse. Students will seek feedback about the project’s feasibility from people who would be impacted, but students will not actually build the project.
Teachers are invited to submit a form letter of intent to participate on the Clearinghouse website by Sept. 29, 2021. Submission of the form letter by the deadline is required. On May 4, 2022, three awards – $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $300 for third place – will be made to schools in each of the K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 grade bands for projects scored and selected by reviewers. Outstanding designs may be shared on Clearinghouse and HBA of Iowa websites and through other publications and events. Learn more about the design challenge at: https://clearinghouse.futurereadyiowa.gov/challenge.