Announcing the Finalists!

Announcing the Finalists!

After reviewing entries from across the country, Cooper Hewitt is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 National High School Design Competition. This year’s competition challenged students to design a solution for improving a community’s access to healthy, fresh foods. The finalists are: Anne Jang, of Irvine, California; Tova Kleiner, of New York City; and Rostam Reifschneider, of Rancho Santa Fe, California. Congratulations!

Read more about this year’s competition.

Anne Jang, age 18, Irvine, CA

University High School

My design adds to the infrastructure of stations and streets. Way-finding signs would easily guide people to a nearby store or farmer’s market for groceries, instead of convenience stores. It provides the healthier alternative people need in order to thrive.





Tova Kleiner, age 14, New York, NY

SAR High School

My design delivers fresh produce to seniors and homebound people. Produce is sourced from local farmers and markets, packaged into a special divided container based on longevity, and delivered weekly by students. Containers are sterilized and reused.


Rostam Reifschneider, age 17, Rancho Santa Fe, CA

La Jolla Country Day School

The Comida Fresca stand offers fresh food options, with a buy 1 get 1 free deal. Day laborers will eat lunch and receive a take home box for dinner. They will pay a subscription fee, so they can pay when they find work, and still eat when they don’t.





What’s Next for the Finalists?

These three finalists will move on to Stage Two of the National High School Design Competition, where they’ll participate in inspiring mentoring activities including:

  • Individual phone calls with a Food + Future mentor to discuss how to further develop their design ideas, in mid-April.
  • Travel to Boston to attend Mentor Day on May 13, a day-long workshop with the Food + Future mentors to further discuss their design ideas, prepare for the in-person judging, dive deeper into the design process, and learn more about how solving global food system challenges.
  • Travel to New York City to visit Cooper Hewitt and present in person to the judges on June 4.

Meet the Mentors

The National High School Design Competition Mentors work with Food + Future, and bring their varied skills together to solve challenges related to food health, access, and education. The mentors will help the finalists further develop their design ideas during this stage of the competition.

Scott Beatty, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Food + Future

A serial entrepreneur and now F+F EIR, Scott was drawn to Food+Future to make a dent in the systemic issues with our current food system. He believes building new businesses in a sustainable and resilient manner, and that new technologies and models can be the greatest lever of change to reverse course toward leaving a depleted and flawed environment for our children. Scott is committed to education, serving as a Trustee to multiple schools, including ad-hoc committees at his alma mater, Macalester College, where he showed an early interest in biomimicry.

Ben Leddy, Director of Curriculum, Poly, FOOD + FUTURE

Ben is the Director of Curriculum for Poly, an education venture based at Food + Future, where he works to develop inclusive, effective, and engaging learning experiences for kids. An educational troubadour, his original songs and animated YouTube videos have received more than 300,000 views from around the world. After learning about Food + Future from a Facebook post, he dropped everything to come make an impact at scale. Before that, Ben taught middle school social studies in Boston and received his M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Trevor Sieck, Design Lead, Food + Future

Hailing from an agricultural background, Trevor helped build Siena Farms, a beloved Boston area farm, from the ground up. His experience in small farm production systems, retail marketing, and local supply chains provides first-hand experience in some of the larger issues Food + Future addresses. He is passionate about food and community collaboration and is putting that passion to work on Food + Future Farms by prototyping new forms of production and consumption.