American Society For Nutrition

Spirit of Innovation Challenge

Spirit of Innovation Challenge

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice

About the Challenge

The American Society for Nutrition is a proud partner in the Conrad Foundation's Spirit of Innovation Challenge. ASN is an official partner for the Nutrition and Health category for the Spirit of Innovation Challenge. We provide expert mentors, judges for submissions and opportunities for students, such as speaking at national conferences, internships and career opportunities.

The Conrad Foundation's Spirit of Innovation Challenge invites high school students and their coaches (teachers, parents) to “Get Their Genius On” during its annual competition. Using science, technology, engineering and math skills, teams develop innovative products to help solve global and local problems while supporting global sustainability. As part of the program, the Spirit of Innovation Challenge matches high school participants with established scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs as mentors to assist with advanced academic and business principles.

Student teams compete for awards and recognition, including a chance to attend the annual Innovation Summit where they will present their products and vie for seed grants, patent support and commercial opportunities.

The Conrad Challenge is free and available to students from all socioeconomic levels. The Spirit of Innovation Challenge gives teachers an exciting and dynamic way to teach STEM. The Challenge provides a way for teachers to go beyond the textbook and help students truly understand how what they are learning can be applied to something with large-scale social impact. The Spirit of Innovation Challenge is not just a program … it is a movement to train the next generation and drive the economy of tomorrow.

Learn more about participating as a student, coach, mentor and get started today!

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are interested in becoming a judge for the 2013 Spirit of Innovation Challenge, information can be found here. If you would like to participate as a judge contact Moira Holt and you will be issued a special invitation with directions to the secured judging platform.

Time commitment: the judging phases for the General Entry (November 2012) and Semi-Finalist (January 2013) rounds are approximately two weeks long. During these rounds, all judging takes place electronically through the online judging system. Each judge should anticipate providing 8-10 hours to review a minimum of 10 abstracts as a general entry judge and 5 projects as a semi-finalist judge. Please plan to spend 30 minutes for abstracts and 1-2 hours for full proposals. If your schedule can accommodate additional review, you are invited to provide feedback on additional projects.

The judging for the Finalist round will take place at the Innovation Summit at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The executive director of the Spirit of Innovation Challenge will issue personalized invitations to selected panel judges.


Time commitment: Mentors are asked to spend at least 10 minutes per week checking the online forum and mentor messaging system to answer any new student questions.

Semi-finalist and finalist mentors will be matched with a specific team and work directly with that team as they progress to the next round. For these mentors, some weeks will require more or less time depending on what you have arranged with your fellow mentors and the team regarding their deliverables. On average, you will spend 1-2 hours per week guiding and preparing a semi-finalist or finalist team.

If this interests you, please email Moira Holt to be added as a judge and/or mentor, or if you have further questions.

Related News and Events

  • October 24, 2012: Student deadline for abstracts.
  • October 25, 2012: Judging starts
  • November 8, 2012: Deadline for Judging