Life Challenge Contests

Family and Consumer Sciences subject matter-based challenges are a way for you to apply what you’ve learned in your 4-H projects to real-life situations. The challenges involve 4-H'ers working in teams, solving problems, and applying subject matter knowledge to a specific situation. For example, in the food and nutrition challenge you might use your creativity to create multiple menu options based on the needs of the situation and your budget.

Your challenge team can have two, three or four members. If you can’t find someone in your county who is interested in being on your team, your county extension office will help you find someone from a surrounding county. A county Life Challenge packet was emailed to your county office. This packet can help you practice before you get to the state event. The top teams in each challenge area will be recognized during the award ceremonies on Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon. The challenges in each area will involve information from 4-H project manuals and educational websites. These are listed as Resources under their respective contest tab.

Please see Life Challenge Rules for more regulations and eligibility guidelines.

Foods & Nutrition Challenge

The Foods & Nutrition Challenge will be focused on food waste. We learn about some simple modifications that food service has made to cut down on food waste. the information learned will then be applied to a challenge question. A team of two to four youth will have 45 minutes to respond with a solution. The presentation will be open to any youth or others who are interests. Cost to participate is $8.00 per individual.

Resources

Awards

  • The top five teams will be recognized with ribbons.
  • Each member of the top placing team will receive $25 and a scholarship from the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Human Development Challenge

This challenge will be combined with the ESI Challenge. See the ESI Challenge description and resources for more details. Cost to participate is $7 per individual.

Resources

Awards

  • The top three individuals or team will be recognized with certificates.
  • Members of the top placing team will receive a scholarship from the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Clothing & Textiles Challenge

In the design challenge we will explore living in small spaces. A common small space is living in resident halls. We will tour the new resident hall on East Campus and learn about how young adutls use living space. The challenges will focus on designing a functional living space given small square footage. Cost to participate is $8.00 per individual.

Resources

Awards

  • The top five teams will be recognized with ribbons.
  • Members of the top placing team will receive $25 and a scholarship from the College of Education and Earth Sciences.

Entrepreneurship Investigation (ESI) Challenge

The ESI Challenge involves youth working in teams, getting creative and applying human development knowledge to find a solution to a problem facing society today. No previous experience with ESI is necessary to enter this competition. 

Challenge Goal
To develop a  concept that provides a solution for the provided issue or challenge.

Challenge Criteria

  • Your Challenge Team can have a minimum of two or a maximum of four members. If you can’t find someone in your county who is interested in being on your team, your county Extension office will help you find someone from a surrounding county.
  • Your team will develop a concept plan for your solution to the problem. 
  • Your team will test your ideas for viability by interviewing others, recording your findings and fine-tuning your solution. 
  • Your team will then create and deliver a presentation about your concept and marketing plan for your business solution. You can use PowerPoint, poster boards (provided) and other materials to prepare the presentation. 
  • Presentations will occur during solution showcase. The showcase will consist of other contestants, parents, guests, and judges. 

Preparation Activity (optional)
Think of a problem that is worrisome to elderly members of your community. As a team, brainstorm possible ways that the problem could be solved through a new product or service.

Questions to think about

  • How would you go about finding out the needs of the seniors in your community?
  • What product or service would you develop to address the need determined above?
  • Who are your customers and why would they buy your product/service?
  • How would your customers get your products/service?
  • How would your business make money?
  • What is the best way to let your customers know about your product/service?
  • What do you need to start your business? Facilities, cash, knowledge?
  • What other decisions do you need to make about your business?

Resources

Awards

The top teams will be recognized during the award ceremonies on Tuesday afternoon.

There will be five award categories:

  • Most Innovative Product or Service
  • Best Pitch
  • Youth Choice Award
  • Other Choice Award
  • Best Overall Innovation Concept