2024-2025 Topics

Practice Problem 1 – Food Security

Nutritious food is a basic human need. While global food production has expanded, approximately one in three people remain food insecure. Food availability – how much food exists – is the first hurdle to feeding the global population. Food security is different in every place and yet impacts every society.

Practice Problem 2 – Rising Sea Levels

word cloud infographic with rising sea levels problem topic concepts and themes

Two processes cause sea-level rise: thermal expansion (ocean water expansion as it heats up) and additional water flow into oceans from ice that melts on land. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports that sea levels have risen by 0.19m since the beginning of the 20th Century. Sea level rise will continue for centuries, if not thousands of years, after greenhouse gas concentrations are stabilized due to the long lag times involved in warming the oceans and ice sheets’ response, possibly affecting over 400 million people.

Qualifying Problem – Agricultural Industry

word cloud infographic with agricultural industry problem topic concepts and themes

Agriculture is a complex, multi-faceted industry which impacts societies worldwide via the economy, the environment, and most importantly human development. Agriculture is based on the science of cultivating plants, animals, and other life forms for food, fiber, and fuel.

For thousands of years, farming practices have evolved in the use of land, crops, and technology. Small farms, with farmers caring for the land and its inhabitants, are increasingly rare, as most of the world’s food is produced on an industrial scale. Industrial agriculture brings high-yield crops, often requiring extreme land exploitation and increased chemical applications. These advances in agriculture have made nutritious food more affordable and accessible. While the agricultural industry in place today is sufficient to feed the current population of planet Earth, it is also affecting the overall health of the planet.

Affiliate Bowl – Nanotechnology

word cloud infographic with nanotechnology problem topic concepts and themes

Nanotechnology deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers. A single strand of human hair, for scale, is typically 100,000 nanometers thick! At this scale, individual atoms of larger materials can be manipulated. Placing atoms as though they were bricks, nanotechnology has the potential to give control over the structure of matter, allowing us to build powerful, yet microscopic substances.

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