By Merit Myers, Membership and Individual Giving Coordinator

Since 2016, Cooper Hewitt has hosted the annual National High School Design competition challenging students around the country to design a solution to a unique scenario – inspired by our rich collection and stimulating exhibitions. 

I had the honor of serving as a selection juror for the 2020 competition which asked students to design something that would make the world more inclusive. Reviewing the entries, I was struck by the imagination and care these students poured into their designs. While so many thoughtful and creative students entered, it was Priya Agarwal and Anika Agnihotri, then seniors at the Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering in Rockaway, NJ who were named the winning team of the 2020 National High School Design Competition with their design called Storily. Their design allows users to turn their family into storybook characters and insert them into deeply engaging and educational picture books that reflect different cultures and experiences.  

Having been a juror, I can tell you that the future is ripe with the imagination of thoughtful designers. This competition is all about the possibilities for a better future – which lies at the heart of Cooper Hewitt’s mission to educate, inspire, and empower through design. Our work is made possible with your support, and we thank you for helping us to encourage the next generation of designers.

See the 2021 winning design and finalists here. 


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