Design a physical product to help people safely enjoy Michigan Winters.




The Michigan Design Prize is an annual competition celebrating and developing exceptional Michigan industrial design talent.


K- 12 grade and college/university students from across the state are invited to tackle a singular design challenge linked to Michigan and larger societal issues as actual designers solving an authentic problem.


The winners of the prize earn the chance to collaborate with top Michigan industrial designers to bring their idea to life, and showcase their product concept across the state.




Finalists are offered a one-on-one mentoring session with a professional industrial designer to rapidly advance their design thinking and visual communication skills. Will be recognized for their design excellence in Michigan Design Council promotional media, awards ceremonies, and through the MDC website.


Educators can develop their students' capacity to enthusiastically embrace challenges they have never encountered before, asking “What can I do to solve this problem?” and live up to their potential as effective problem posers and solvers.


Schools can build exciting connections between their school community and industry professionals driving our creative economy forward.




K – 12 Grade students, College/University students are invited to participate.


K-12 scholastic and collegiate entrants are judged in the following categories: K-5; 6-8; 9-12; Collegiate


The competition is administered and judged by the members of the Michigan Design Council.





To support your efforts to strengthen the creative capacity of your students and engage them in thinking like designers, we have addressed some FAQ’s.


We have also provided information about the design process that we hope will be helpful to your planning and instruction.


Additionally The MDC, in collaboration with Wholemindesign in Ann Arbor, offers a one-day complimentary session called: Educators as Designers: Launching Your Design Prize Challenge.


This experience is for K - Collegiate educators who wish to learn more about the design process and how to meaningfully engage students in the challenge. Please go to www.wholemindesign.com , “Course Offerings” section for more information.



January: Registration open

End of June: Submissions due EOD Friday, June 30th, 2017

July: Judging

August-September: Finalist mentoring

October: Award winners announced




    Michigan has a temperate climate with well-defined seasons. Colder temperatures and a shorter growing season prevail in the more northerly regions of Michigan. The average annual snowfall in Michigan is approximately 60 inches, and, the average low temperature in January is 14 Degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the state is –51°F.


    The greatest snowfall is found in the extreme northern areas, where cloud cover created by cold air blowing over the warmer Lake Superior waters causes frequent heavy snow along the northern coast. Lake Michigan's water temperatures create a snow belt along the west coast of the Lower Peninsula.


    Whether tubing and sledding, ice fishing, dog sledding or hunting, Michigan winters offer outdoor enthusiasts, families and adventure seekers a chance for adventure among beautiful snow covered landscapes.


    Michigan is home to 6,500 miles of snowmobile trails, 3,000 miles of cross country skiing trails, beautiful terrain for snowshoeing and much more. Michigan is the birthplace of organized skiing and snowboarding and Michigan ranks second in the nation for the number of skiing areas found across the state. The state has the highest number of registered snowmobiles in the nation.


    People living in wintery areas have long needed to travel in deep snow, so they invented various forms of equipment that permitted them to glide or walk without sinking into the snowpack. Many of the winter sports people enjoy in Michigan, such as snowshoeing and skiing, originated from these practical inventions.


    Michigan’s 113.4 million annual visitors would be like everyone from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin visiting Michigan three times a year. The $2.4 billion in state and local revenues from visitor activity represents $640 per household in Michigan. Tourism spending directly supports over 214,000 jobs in Michigan.


    Approximately 11,000 jobs in Michigan can be directly attributed to winter recreation and tourism. Research shows that the average snowmobiler in Michigan spends about $4,200 annually on snowmobiling activity, equipment, and vacationing within the state. Additionally, over $1 billion in economic impact is generated and over 6,455 full time jobs are created by snowmobiling in Michigan.


    On the social and cultural level, tourism contributes profoundly to Michigan’s quality of life by supporting its large number of restaurants, wineries, microbreweries, galleries, museums, festivals and retail venues.



    Whether recreating or just being out of doors in the winter, it’s important to understand the impact of sustained exposure to cold temperatures.  Selecting the appropriate clothing and gear is important to have a safe and enjoyable winter experience. Additionally, mental preparedness, knowledge and skills are critical.


    Covering exposed skin with layers of material that have enhanced thermal properties is important. Heat loss in cold, wet weather increases the risk for hypothermia and cold injury. The onset of hypothermia can depend on a person's age, overall health, and environmental conditions. Conditions leading to hypothermia include prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, improper clothing and equipment, fatigue, dehydration, poor food intake, and alcohol intake. Any temperature less than 98.6 degrees can be linked to hypothermia, such as hypothermia in the elderly in cold houses.


    Traveling on roads in Michigan during the winter season is more challenging than during the warmer seasons. Driving can become dangerous due to ice and snow buildup causing slippery conditions, and limited visibility caused by blowing snow.  Visibility is also affected by ice and snow buildup on windows. Windshield wipers that work fine in the summer are often not up to the job of keeping ice and snow from building up.


    Snow and ice-covered roads make accelerating, stopping, and turning more difficult. Overpasses can be especially dangerous as precipitation freezes quicker than on roads in contact with the ground.


    Other challenges to driving in cold, snowy weather conditions includes maintaining safe tire pressures- tire pressure drops by about one pound per ten degrees of temperature, and can potentially jeopardize a car's handling. Also, drivers who get stuck in deep snow often resort to shoveling or using sand and salt to increase traction.  A common sight in blizzard situations is vehicles’ being towed after sliding off of the road and becoming stuck.



    Snow forms when the atmospheric temperature is at or below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and there is a minimum amount of moisture in the air. If the ground temperature is at or below freezing, the snow will reach the ground. As a general rule, though, snow will not form if the ground temperature is at least 41 degrees Fahrenheit.


    Snowflakes are accumulations of many snow crystals. Most snowflakes are less than 0.5 inches across. Under certain conditions, usually requiring near-freezing temperatures, light winds, and unstable atmospheric conditions, much larger and irregular flakes can form, nearing 2 inches across.


    After a snowfall, snow may melt or evaporate, or it may persist for long periods. If snow persists on the ground, the texture, size, and shape of individual grains will change even while the snow temperature remains below freezing, or they may melt and refreeze over time, and will eventually become compressed by subsequent snowfalls.


    Generally, snow and ice present us with a uniformly white appearance. This is because visible light is white. Most all of the visible light striking the snow or ice surface is reflected back without any particular preference for a single color.



    Understanding the effect of ice on the Great Lakes is crucial because it impacts a range of societal benefits provided by the lakes, from hydropower generation to commercial shipping to the fishing industry.


    The amount of ice cover varies from year to year, as well as how long it remains on the lakes. Scientists are observing long-term changes in ice cover- studying, monitoring, and predicting ice coverage on the Great Lakes plays an important role in determining climate patterns, lake water levels, water movement patterns, water temperature structure, and spring plankton blooms.



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1. Background: The Michigan Design Prize Competition (the “Competition”) is an annual competition celebrating Michigan’s industrial design talent and capabilities.  Every year, the Competition will tackle a single design challenge linked to Michigan and broader societal issues.  The theme for the 2017 competition is Michigan winter.  This Competition is sponsored and administered by the Michigan Design Council, a Michigan based, 501c3 non-profit organization, P.O. Box 652, Walled Lake, MI 48390-0652 (the “Sponsor”).

2.  Who Can Enter:  The Michigan Design Prize Competition (the “Competition”) is open to legal residents of Michigan; K – 12th grade students, college / university students.  Residency will be verified by address on your valid, non-expired drivers’ license, or other valid form of identification.  The Competition is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

3. Your Agreement to Official Rules: Participation in this Competition constitutes your agreement of these Official Rules and Sponsor’ decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to this Competition.

4. When You Can Enter: The Competition begins on January 1, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time ("ET") and ends on June 30 , 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET (the "Competition Period").

5. How You Can Enter, And What Your Entry Can and Cannot Include: During the Competition Period, develop one (1) design solution addressing the following challenge: Design a physical product to help people safely enjoy Michigan Winters. (the “Submission”).  Complete and submit the fillable form to receive one (1) entry into the Competition.  Be sure that your Submission:

> Features only drawings, features, content, images, words, phrases or other intellectual property that are either in the public domain or which you have the expressed right to use;

> Does not contain ideas, images or artwork not created by you, the entrant.

Be sure to have permission from any and all individuals that appear in your Submission, that is, if you decide to feature the image of any individual.  If requested, you must be able to provide this permission in a form acceptable to Sponsor.  Submitting your application constitutes your permission to have the Sponsor display, advertise or promote your identity and/or your Submission in marketing materials affiliated with the Competition and/or the Michigan Design Council. Neither Sponsor nor any parties affiliated to the Sponsor will be responsible for lost, late, stolen, delayed or misdirected Submissions; all of which will be void.

6. How Many Entries Can You Submit: You may submit 1 entry into the Competition during the Competition Period.

7. How We Determine Your Identity: In the event of a dispute as to the identify of any Competition registrant, the entrant will be deemed as the authorized account owner of the email address used to register for the Competition.  For the purposes of these Official Rules, the authorized account holder is defined as the individual person assigned an email address by an entity responsible for assigning email addresses, including Internet access providers, Internet service providers and related entities.  If you are selected as a potential winner, you may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

8. How Finalists and Winners Will be Selected: On or around July 1, 2017, a panel of qualified judges will be convened to judge all entries based on the following criteria (the “Judging Criteria”): (Submissions must be a physical product concept. Emphasis should be on the quality of the idea versus the sophistication of the entry / deliverable):

a. Newness in DISCOVERY: The design solution should begin with unique or unusual findings of existing and potential problems.

b. Comprehensiveness in DEFINITION: The design solution should be comprehensive enough to address the findings.

c. Thoroughness in DEVELOPMENT: The design solution should demonstrate a creative and rational process.

d. Level of impact in DELIVERY: The design solution should make a good impact in the community, society, industry, and economy.

Entrants whose Submissions receive the highest scores via application of the Judging Criteria will be deemed the potential Michigan Design Prize finalists and winners. K-12 scholastic and collegiate entrants will be judged in the following categories: K-5; 6-8; 9-12; Collegiate.

9. Finalist and Winner Requirements:  The potential finalists and winners will be notified by email or mail on or around August 1, 2017. At the time of notification, the potential winner will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability & Publicity Release (the “Affidavit”).  This Affidavit must be signed, notarized and received by the potential winner, and/or legal guardian, within 5 days of the date notice is sent.  If the potential finalist or winner cannot be contacted, or fails to execute and return the Affidavit within the required time period, is found to not comply with these Official Rules, the potential finalist or winner will forfeit the prize and the prize may be awarded to the entrant whose Submission received the second highest score via application of the Judging Criteria.  This process will repeat until the Michigan Design Prize can be awarded.  The Sponsor will use their respective best efforts to award prizes in the October-November 2017 timeframe.

10.  Recognition of Finalists and Winners:

Recognition and awards are non-transferable and no substitution will be made, unless determined otherwise by Sponsor, in their sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize component(s) for 1 of equal or greater value if the designated prize(s) should become unavailable for any reason.

Cheating and Unfair Play:  If Sponsor, in its sole discretion, suspects an entrant has registered or attempted to submit more than 1 Submission by using multiple identities, email addresses, telephone numbers or other forms of contact, then all of entrant’s Submissions will be declared null and void, will be deleted and entrant will be disqualified from submitting further Submissions into the Competition. Notwithstanding the above, Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any individual or group Sponsor believes, in its sole discretion, to be tampering with the operation of the Competition, to be acting in violation of these Official Rules and /or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike manner.  Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law from any person who attempts to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition.  Failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules does not constitute a waiver of that provision or any of the other terms set forth under these Official Rules.

11.  Entry Ownership and Publicity: All entries submitted into this Competition will remain entrant’s property.  By entering a Submission into this Competition, entrant grants Sponsor a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive and perpetual license to use the Submission or any reproductions of the Submission in any marketing, advertising or communications related to the Michigan Design Prize and Michigan Design Council.  Except where prohibited, participation in the Competition constitutes your consent for Sponsor and/or its agents to use such individuals name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide and in perpetuity, without any further payment or consideration.

12. Release: By participating in the Competition, you agree to release and hold harmless the Sponsors, their respective affiliates, and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, judgments, costs and expenses arising out of participation in the Competition or the award, receipt and/or use of any prize.

13. Limitations of Liability: The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, affiliates third parties, partners or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Competition; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the registration process and/or delivering a Submission process, winner selection process, winner notification process or any other aspect of the Competition; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Competition, the processing of entries, the delivery of Submissions, the notification of potential winners and/or the fulfillment of any prize; (5) late, lost, undeliverable, damaged or stolen mail; or (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused from entrant’s participation in the Competition or winner’s receipt and/or use and/or misuse of any prize.  The Released Parties shall not be liable to any entrant, potential winner or any other person for failure to supply a prize, or any part thereof, due to acts of nature; any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity, regardless of validity; equipment failure; acts of war and acts of terrorism; embargo; labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal); labor or material shortage; transportation interruption of any kind; work slow-down; civil disturbance, insurrection or riot; or any other cause beyond Sponsor’s sole control.  The Released Parties shall not be liable to any entrant, potential winner or any other person for damage to such person’s computer or its contents.

If for any reason your entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, your sole remedy is another entry in the Competition, provided it is possible.

14. Disputes: Any and all disputes arising from participation in this Competition and the interpretation, validity and construction of these Official Rules shall be by the laws of the State of Michigan, without regard to the laws and/or jurisdiction of your legal residence. By participating in this Competition, you agree that any and all claims and causes of action arising out of your participation in the Competition is subject to exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue in the state and federal courts of the United States located in the State of Michigan, Wayne County, without regard to conflict of law provisions and without resort to any form of class action.


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