Student and Teacher Resources

For students

Need help getting started?

Here are some resources to ignite your creative thinking:


Brainstorming Tips:

  • Start by thinking about the ways people access healthy, fresh food. What are some approaches already in use? How might these approaches be improved? What stands in the way of making them successful? What are some new ways to address these challenges?
  • It may help to think about your own life—you, your family, your friends, your neighborhood, your surrounding communities—who might you know has encountered challenges accessing healthy, fresh foods? This could be in any setting—from buying groceries and eating out to commuting or snacking at school or at work. How might you improve their access? And how might that benefit communities on a broader scale?


For teachers

Want to get your students involved in the National High School Design Competition? Here are some resources to get you started.

I want to let my students know about the competition.

Thanks! You can download this poster for your classroom or school bulletin board.

I want to make this a class project.

Great! We have created a lesson plan and resource documents below for you. Follow the lesson step-by-step or utilize what fits with your needs. PLEASE NOTE: Only individual entries will be accepted for the competition.

Design skills aren’t just for designers! To find new ways to incorporate design into your classroom, visit our free online Educator Resource Center (ERC). The ERC hosts over 400 design-based lesson plans written by teachers like you.

Tips for turning an idea into a sketch

Is your design an experience, a system, a place, a product, or something else? These templates will help guide you through the process of making a sketch to communicate how your design works. You are not required to use these templates, and the quality of your sketch will not be considered by the judges.

There are many ways to sketch your design. Check out some of the ways that designers in the By the People: Designing a Better America exhibition got started:


  • Draw an overhead view of your design noting the various sections like this from the Polis Station.
    Polis Station




  • Draw your idea on top of a map to show how it would function or integrate in the community like this from the Red Hook WIFI.
    Red Hook WIFI


  • Use notes to highlight details in your design like this from the SEEDClassroom.