Current Challenge

Growing Your Community Challenge

January 1 – May 1, 2018

Explainer Video

Current Challenge

Many people think food security is a problem that only affects third world countries. However, this is not the case. More than 42 million Americans live in food insecure households. Often, we think of individuals that are living with food insecurity to be homeless or easy to identify, yet they could be your neighbor or even a classmate. Are you ready to help solve this problem? Participate in the spring 2018 Purple Plow challenge!


Your prototype must address the following needs:

  • Produce a variety of edible plants in a soil-based growing space.
  • Complete a needs assessment related to food and hunger in the community.
  • Maximize community impact with food products and partnerships.


Success will be determined by

  • Creating, constructing, and maintaining an environment that is suitable for edible plant growth.
  • Showing progress towards a food-based long-term solution for the local community.
  • Demonstrating development and maintenance of community partnerships for the benefit of local food security.


Purple Plow Guide (PDF)

Facilitator Guide (PDF)

Student Guide(PDF)

Helpful Information for Students(PDF)

Student Reflection Sheet (Word Doc)
Teachers: After teams have completed the challenge, print one form per team. Have students fill out the form on their own. Scan completed forms and attach to your entry using the “Submit Your Entry” button below. Please do not allow any student names on this submission form, however, please assign each team an identifying number (Ex: Sample Middle School, Team #01). Keep track of the numbers you have assigned your teams.

Judging Rubric (Word Doc)

Participation Rules

Eligibility: Individuals, groups, and classes in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 are eligible to enter the challenge competition.

What to Submit: For each team, you must submit the following:

  • Completed student reflection sheet.
  • Screenshot or link to student social media post or presentation.
  • Be sure to include #PurplePlow in your post.

There is no limit to the number of teams you may submit.

Deadline: Challenges will be run seasonally.  For the current challenge, entries must be submitted by the date listed above under the challenge title.  To submit your entry, use the Submit button on the Challenge page.

Prizes: All teams who complete the spring challenge by the deadline will be entered into a drawing for one of eight, $500 grants. The top three entries will win a 3D printer and a Visa gift card to help you buy supplies for your next maker challenge! Medals will be awarded to the winning team members as well.

Important Privacy Information

This experience is designed for kids, but must be submitted by an adult over the age of 13. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prevents The Purple Plow Challenge from collecting personal information online from children under age 13.

Do not include student names, school name or any other personal information in the body of the response questions. Enter school and contact information only in the specific designated areas of the form.

Do your photos need a release? Any photo that shows the face of a student or recognizable characteristics of that student requires an official AFBFA photo release form. (DOWNLOAD HERE).

Here are some tips for taking pictures that do not require a photo release:
Take pictures of

  • Student prototypes only
  • Students’ hands working on projects
  • Over-the-shoulder pictures of students working from behind.

Have you completed this challenge?

To officially enter the challenge you must click below to complete the submission form. By submitting your entry, you verify the Challenge was completed by students in grades 5-8 and that all work is original. Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST May 1, 2018.

General Challenge Resources

No matter which challenge you are on, a good place to get started is the Purple Plow Guide (pdf) which includes the following:

  • Tips and Tricks
  • Purple Plow Design Process
  • Purple Plow Challenge Rubric
  • Supply List and Budget
Download the Purple Plow Guide

Planning to Take the Challenge?

Let us know you plan to participate!
Click the button below and tell us about your team.

Across the Nation

Put yourself on the map! Let us know that you’re “IN” and you’ll be on the map along with other students across the nation

Get Social

See what’s being said and share your experience today on Twitter. @Mention us in your post by adding  “@PurplePlow” and add the hashtag #purpleplow