High school students pitch product ideas in Fair Oaks Farms competition

Purdue Polytechnic High School students traveled from Indianapolis to West Lafayette in late November for final presentations in a “pitch competition” sponsored by Fair Oaks Farms and Belstra Milling.

The competition was part of the high school’s 2017-18 student project challenge in which Fair Oaks Farms asked, “How will Indiana contribute to feeding nine billion people without overwhelming the planet by 2050?”

Five finalist teams were each allotted three to five minutes to describe their product development ideas to a team of judges that included Fair Oaks Farms and Belstra Milling representatives and faculty from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and College of Agriculture. Each team was required to include estimates for the cost of developing their products.

Finalist teams presented these product ideas:

  • “ExpiraCatch,” a mobile app designed to help consumers reduce food waste. Consumers would use the app to scan grocery store receipts to automatically create food inventories. Notification features will alert consumers in advance of purchased food’s expiration and use-by dates and provide recipe suggestions which utilize available ingredients. The team’s goal is to reduce food waste from 20 percent to 12 percent by 2050.
  • “Family Food,” an interactive board game which helps families understand the positive effects genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have in farming and food availability. The team created an initial version of the game with 22 questions designed to improve the public’s understanding of GMOs.
  • “What’s Cooking Next Door,” an app which helps consumers share food resources, foster closer relationships with neighbors, reduce food waste, and save money. “Wasted food is wasted effort,” the team said. The app, designed initially to serve residential communities, could potentially be updated to help people in neighboring offices or businesses during their work days.
  • “Waste Wars,” a competition which develops awareness of the quantity and quality of food wasted by schools and families.
  • “Food’s Journey,” a board game designed to increase empathy for food producers and to reduce food waste by educating players about where the food they consume comes from.

Judges selected Liam Greene & Adrian Martinez, developers of the “ExpiraCatch” concept app, as the team that presented the best pitch.

During their campus visit, the ninth-grade class also toured chemistry laboratories and the Purdue Graduate Student Center.