St. Anthony New Brighton Symposium
St. Anthony Middle School 8th grade students present innovative solutions to social issues through partnership with national K-12 education nonprofit World Savvy
On Friday, May 5, 2023, 8th grade students across St. Anthony Middle School in Minneapolis, MN, culminated their middle school tenure with capstone project presentations to their families, teachers, and the larger community.
The capstone projects are grounded in the Knowledge to Action Framework, a youth-led design challenge that brings students together to create ideas for action in their local community. Students identify an issue they care about, build their knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the problem they are hoping to solve, and support the creation of informed solutions designed to tackle the issue’s root causes.
“I’m so proud of the creativity students have shown with their projects, which range from websites to business plans, short stories to 3D models!” says Drue Schwitters, student teacher from St. Anthony-New Brighton Schools. “I also am impressed by their persistence as they work through these hard topics. We are so excited to see these projects come to life as we finish the year!”
The end-of-year student symposium is part of a larger partnership with World Savvy – a K-12 national education nonprofit organization headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. World Savvy partnered with St. Anthony-New Brighton School’s 8th-grade capstone student council advisor Alison Criss to support the project design, curriculum planning, and scaffolding of skills throughout the school year to ensure students can successfully execute their projects.
“I’m so grateful to partner with World Savvy this year! It’s been an opportunity for me to grow in my teaching practice, learning and applying new frameworks, strategies, and collaborative structures in my classroom,” says Criss. “I’ve felt supported during the entire process while being given the freedom to adapt their materials and make them my own. Writing an entirely new class was such a daunting task, but working with World Savvy turned it into a joy!”
World Savvy has facilitated thousands of Knowledge to Action processes with schools nationwide. The process is a microcosm of World Savvy’s systematic work with schools to build more relevant, student-centered, and future-focused learning environments.
“By collaborating and cross-pollinating their ideas over the last few months, students have honed their skills and strategies for collaborative communication, inquiry-based research, analysis of the world through critical lenses, and strategic written and oral communication,” says Melanie Peterson-Nafziger, World Savvy professional learning facilitator who has been the lead partner with St. Anthony-New Brighton Schools. “In next year’s iteration of this capstone project, we intend to deepen students’ interdisciplinary investigations of local manifestations of globally significant issues right in their own communities. By investigating global issues that are deeply relevant in their own communities, St. Anthony students will perforate the walls of their classrooms, learning with and from community organizations and stakeholders and preparing to take action on globally significant community challenges.”
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