Big Dreams, Local Change: East Tennessee

Big Dreams, Local Change: East Tennessee
June 18, 2019

Students from four Knoxville-area schools participated in a pop-up design challenge as a part of World Savvy’s community hub in East Tennessee. Teams explored environmental issues like water pollution and waste and prototyped and tested potential solutions.

As a part of World Savvy’s Hub work in East Tennessee, World Savvy and our partner,  the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), hosted 100 students from 4 Knoxville area middle and high schools at a day-long pop-up design challenge on April 4, 2019. Students worked in teams with students from other schools on the design question,

“How might we, as young people, make change on local environmental issues?”

Teams explored environmental issues in Tennessee like water pollution and waste, heard from a panel of local environmental professionals, and prototyped and tested potential solutions. They learned about design thinking as a methodology to build empathy and tackle problems with the perspectives and lived experiences of those most impacted at the center. Teacher candidates from UTK supported student learning and engagement as facilitators of the design challenge, providing future teachers with a lens on integrating design thinking into classroom learning.  It was an inspiring day for the students, teachers, and the future teachers- and helped these young people begin to see themselves as powerful changemakers in their own community. The event was also covered by local news!

Check out the story to hear from participating students!

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