The SchoolsNEXT competition challenges students from across the globe to think creatively as they plan and design tomorrow's 21st century learning environments to enhance innovative ways of teaching and learning, be healthy, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive and engage the surrounding community. At this session, teams from the Southern region will compete to be selected as our entry in the next stage of the competition.
Over 3,000 students representing nearly 100 school districts from schools all over North America and the United Kingdom participated in the 2014 program. This is a 21st Century learning approach where students are enabled, engaged and empowered through a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum, including leadership and teamwork proficiencies, to master the skills they need to succeed in today's global economy. The multi-disciplinary solution teaches students how to follow a planning process from the concept phase to completion of the project, with thorough documentation.
As Judy Hoskens, REFP, LEED AP, School of the Future Competition chair and Association Board member, poignantly remarked when awarding the Southern Region's entry the grand prize last year, "What these students did this year that was so powerful was to imbue their design solutions with empathy and meaning, and a desire to make a difference in the world. This added dimension is the critical ingredient necessary to create memorable and meaningful learning experiences for all learners and their communities. BRAVO!"
"Chairing the jury affords me one of the best days of the year," commented David Schrader, AIA, LEED AP, jury chair and chair-elect, CEFPI after last year's International Jury. "Creating schools that inspire changes in education, empower students and engage the community, these young designers demonstrated great passion, enthusiasm, remarkable research and exceptional teamwork. Our future looks much brighter with them at the helm."
Each team's presentation is offered as an educational session for conference attendees, giving everyone an opportunity to see these remarkable kids "up close and personal" and more importantly learn from them. Come join the jury and witness this year's "memorable and meaningful learning experiences" and see the bright future that our Southern Region students envision.