How might we reinvent learning to be 21st century relevant for Idaho students?
The 24-Hour Think Challenge’s second year focused on something near and dear to the heart of students: relevant, 21st century learning. One hundred and fifty students from 32 southwest Idaho schools gathered October 1st and 2nd to take a hard look at where Idaho is headed, and bring student voice into the conversation about what’s next in learning.
Students divided into 15 teams and dove head first into the challenge by creating team names and chants. Teams participated in a crash course in design thinking, designing each team’s version of an ideal school building. Thinkers then learned the true meaning of “51” when they destroyed their building models in an effort to think even BIGGER. When the 24 hour clock started, teams dove into the understand and empathize phase, learning the lay of the land from experts like Thiel fellow and Zaption founder, Charlie Stigler, and Gordon Jones, Dean of Boise State’s College of Innovation and Design. Following their empathy work, students used each other as experts and users of the current learning environments and filled their brains and notebooks with lots of info! Teams followed the design thinking process (understand, empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test) with the help of Pit Crew teams, coaches, and One Stone team member expertise to find, polish and prep their idea for the implementation stage. After a whirlwind 24 hours, teams pitched their ideas to a crowd of over 500 parents, volunteers, community members, and influencers.
In a post-event survey, 85% of participants reported that they felt more invested in their own learning experience. 90% reported that the Think Challenge experience would help them problem solve in other areas of their life.
To carrying on the impact of the event, our team invited all students to move their ideas forward by joining One Stone. We on boarded 50+ new team members who continued to examine the future of learning in Idaho, as well as other passions. We have had the opportunity to take Think Challenge ideas and findings to other audiences, including legislators, policy makers and the Boise School District. In 2016, we will continue to seek opportunities about the message of student voice in education.