Save The Soil Challenge

Download the Purple Plow GuideGeneral 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


Save The Soil Challenge

August 15, 2017 – November 1, 2017

Current Challenge: Save The Soil

Only 11% of our Earth’s land surface has the topsoil considered suitable for producing food. In the United States alone, we are losing at least 3 billion tons of topsoil a year to erosion! Without topsoil, our land becomes a desert and is not capable of producing food. Ready to dig deep to save the soil? Check out the current challenge page for the fall challenge that runs August 15th – November 1st!


Your prototype must address the following needs:

  • Address local erosion concerns
  • Reduce topsoil erosion


Success will be determined by

  • Design, create and test a topsoil erosion simulation model which demonstrates a measurable reduction of topsoil erosion.
  • Produce a presentation which shows the topsoil reduction model in use and communicates results.
  • Posting a picture or short presentation showcasing the team’s prototype to social media using #PurplePlowChallenge.


Facilitator Guide

Download Facilitator Guide (PDF)

Student Guide

Download Student Guide (PDF)

Helpful Information for Students

Save The Soil Content Packet (PDF)

Student Reflection Sheet – Required for Submission

Download 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

Download Rubric (PDF)

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 #PurplePlowChallenge 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: The top 3 entries will win a 3D printer and Visa gift card to help you buy supplies for your next Maker Challenge! Medals will be awarded to all team members.

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 pm on the submission date.

Submit Your Entry
Let us know you plan to participate!
Click the button at right to tell us about your team.


See what’s being said and share your experience today using the @ThePurplePlow