Igniting innovation – how the “Nourishing Minds” competition inspires better student outcomes

April 10, 2024

In this blog, the Crawford Fund’s education specialist, Heather MacDonald, highlights the educational value of the “Nourishing Minds” competition which is offering $2,500 worth of prizes. We encourage you all to consider entering after your students have benefited from using the Crawford Fund’s Secondary School resources to develop innovative ideas or projects addressing sustainable agriculture, food waste reduction, climate-smart technologies, or gender dimensions in food security. 

In today’s educational landscape, fostering creativity, critical thinking, and real-world problem-solving skills is essential for preparing students to thrive in an ever-changing world. The “Nourishing Minds” competition, hosted by the Crawford Fund, presents a unique opportunity to catalyse better outcomes for students by engaging them in addressing pressing global challenges related to food and nutrition security. The competition can inspire and empower students to excel:

Encouraging Innovative Thinking
The “Nourishing Minds” competition challenges students to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. By tackling issues like sustainable agriculture, food waste reduction, and climate-smart technologies, students are encouraged to explore creative approaches and unleash their imagination.

Promoting Collaboration and Teamwork
The competition encourages students to form teams of up to four members, fostering collaboration and teamwork. Working together, students can leverage diverse perspectives, pool their skills, and learn from each other’s strengths, ultimately enhancing their ability to work effectively in a team setting.

Real-World Relevance
The competition is grounded in real-world issues of food and nutrition security, providing students with a meaningful context for their learning. By engaging with practical challenges, students can see the direct impact of their ideas and projects, making their learning experience more relevant and impactful.

Developing Project Management Skills
Creating a project plan and presenting it through a 2–3 minute video requires students to develop essential project management skills. From planning and organising tasks to setting timelines and milestones, students gain valuable experience in project execution—a skillset highly valued in the future.

Enhancing Presentation and Communication Skills
Effective communication is a vital skill in any field. Through the competition, students learn how to articulate their ideas clearly and persuasively in a video presentation. This helps build confidence in public speaking and communication—a critical aspect of personal and professional development.

Fostering a Sense of Purpose and Impact
The “Nourishing Minds” competition empowers students by showing them that their ideas can have a tangible impact on society. By highlighting the potential positive repercussions of their projects on food and nutrition security, students develop a sense of purpose and agency, motivating them to make a difference in the world.

Recognition and Reward
The competition offers attractive cash prizes, including a special encouragement award, providing students with tangible incentives to excel. Recognising and celebrating their efforts not only boosts their self-esteem but also reinforces the value of hard work and dedication.

The “Nourishing Minds” competition is more than just a contest—it’s a platform for nurturing future innovators and leaders. By engaging students in meaningful challenges and equipping them with essential skills, this competition inspires better outcomes for students, preparing them to become proactive contributors to a sustainable and food-secure world.

Are you ready to unleash your students’ creativity and make a difference? Join the “Nourishing Minds” competition and be part of the movement to cultivate tomorrow’s innovators! Together, we can create a brighter future—one innovative idea at a time. #NourishingMinds #StudentInnovation #FutureLeaders #CrawfordFund

Competition Entries

Click here for all the competition details!
Submission Deadline: June 14, 2024
Winners’ Announcement: June 28, 2024 
We invite you to explore our interactive learning materials on Food
Loss and Waste and Climate-Smart Technologies. Together, let us
delve into the complexities of these issues, envision solutions, and
work towards a future where food and nutrition security are
accessible to all.

This project is supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) as part of the Crawford Fund’s NextGen program to encourage the next generation in their studies, careers and awareness of food and nutrition security.