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New York Agriculture in the Classroom


Ice Cream Challenge

About the Ice Cream Challenge

We all scream for ice cream! The sweetest treat is loved by many and is a New York specialty. From favorite local stands, to homemade delights, or eaten right out of the carton – ice cream is a staple treat, especially when the weather turns warm.

The dairy industry is the largest agricultural sector in the state, and along with producing fluid milk, cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream - ice cream production in the state contributes to the over 1.39 billion gallons produced annually. The customization and unique flavor combinations are endless; the base of an ice cream allows for imaginations and taste buds to run wild.

The Ice Cream Challenge allows your students to develop their own ice cream recipe, identify their target audience, create marketing materials for their flavor combination, and learn about the dairy processing industry in their community. This cross-curricular experience will reinforce core academic concepts in math, science, and ELA, while exposing students to career opportunities in our food system.


All classrooms must pre-register to participate in the Ice Cream Challenge.

Pre-registration will provide your classroom with up to date contest information and the opportunity to receive ingredient or material reimbursement.

Pre-Registration Deadline:May 10, 2024


  • Pre-K through 12th grade students in New York.
  • Students may work in groups or as a classroom.
  • Multiple groups or classrooms from the same school may participate.
  • Pre-registration is required in the respective grade divisions.
  • Homeschool groups and private schools are also eligible to participate.

Challenge Submission Requirements

Students or classroom recipes must create an ice cream using dairy products.

Submissions must include:
RECIPE: The ice cream recipe with a photo of the final product.
  • Recipes should include a title, ingredient list with measurements, step-by-step procedures for making the recipe.
  • See this classic ice cream recipe  as an example of layout inspiration, and for a base recipe.
MARKETING: A description of the target audience, one effective marketing element, and a slogan.
  • The marketing element can be any form of media and/or art medium; physical and computer-generated art, skits, jingles, songs, etc.
  • If non digital art is created, submissions should include a picture of the finished work. Please do not submit hard copies of student work.
  • If student work is a longer digital media format such as song or skit, please upload the video to a media site such as YouTube or Vimeo and share the link in a Microsoft word document in the submission form.
PHOTOS: Encouraged, but not required, are photos of your students actively participating in the Ice Cream Challenge.
  • Submitted photos should only include students whose images are allowed to be shared or used in promotional materials.

Ice Cream Challenge submissions should be uploaded no later than 5 pm on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Deadline: 5 pm on Friday, May 31, 2024

Evaluation Criteria

Judging will be based on:

  • The use of dairy products,
  • Inventiveness, authenticity, and accuracy of student recipes,
  • Creativity and effectiveness of the marketing materials.
    • Spelling, grammar, and completeness will also be factored into the review both the recipe and marketing material.
  • Encouraged, but not required, is the submission of photos of your students actively participating in the contest.


  • Primary (Pre-K-2)
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle School (6-8)
  • High School (9-12)

Submissions will be judged against others in your selected division.


  • 1st Place $250
  • 2nd Place $100
  • 3rd Place $50

Contest Timeline

  • Classroom or group contest submissions are due May 31, 2024
  • Winners will be announced by June 12, 2024
  • Ingredient and cooking item reimbursements are due June 12, 2024

Ice Cream Challenge Dollars

Pre-registered classrooms in the Ice Cream Challenge can be reimbursed up to $50 for cooking supplies (hotplates, pots, utensils, etc.) and food supplies (dairy products, pasta, herbs, spices, etc.). If you are registering more than one class (multiple periods of different students) you are eligible for an additional $25 in reimbursed supplies and ingredients for each class.

Indented: Example, if you indicate on your registration form that 3 classes will be participating in the Ice Cream Challenge you will be eligible for up to $100 in reimbursed Ice Cream Challenge Dollars. ($50 for class 1, and $25 for each of the additional 2 classes.)

To be considered for reimbursement, receipts must be submitted no later than 5 pm on June 12, 2024.

Deadline: 5 pm on June 12, 2024