Students showcase solutions in first-ever Design Challenge

Students showcase solutions in first-ever Design Challenge
Posted on 04/12/2018
students discussing solutions

Grand Junction, CO – The inaugural D51 Service Learning Design Challenge asked teams of 5-10 students from nine District 51 schools to identify a challenge in their community and propose a solution to tackle that challenge. After nearly six months of work, students will present their prototypes to a panel of judges at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in the Harry Butler Board Room at 455 N. 22nd St.

Teams from Grand Junction High School, R-5 High School, Fruita 8/9 School, West Middle School, Grand Mesa Middle School, Redlands Middle School, Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary School, Taylor Elementary School, and New Emerson STEAM School met weekly at their schools and once a month beginning in December as a whole group to work on the Design Challenge. A new activity this year in D51, the challenge helps students build entrepreneurial skills using the problem-solving, teamwork, and learning-through-experience principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math). 

“The experience working with our student team in the Service Learning Design Challenge has been one of the best I have had since becoming an educator. Students are owning the learning and leading in incredible ways!” said Maura McDougal, a Grand Junction High School teacher and Design Challenge team coach. 

Challenge topics picked by the teams include using aquaponics to improve student health, building a culture of respect, rethinking how the modern classroom should look, building a healthier, happier school climate through student leadership. On Thursday, the panel will review each group’s proposal and select an elementary school winner, a secondary school winner (middle or high school), and a People’s Choice winner. The District 51 Foundation will award $100 to each winning team to help them get its prototype off the ground.

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