Recognizing Student Contributions to Solving World Problems
The Kauffman Foundation has awarded a grant to Olin College of Engineering to implement a nationwide award competition that will recognize students’ contributions to solving the major challenges facing the world today.
The “Extraordinary Stories Student Awards
” will be given to students who have completed science and engineering projects that tie directly to the 14 Grand Challenges outlined by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) last March. The Grand Challenges
cover critical problems in areas such as environment, energy, education and security that must be solved to ensure a sustainable future.
Over the next few months, nominations will be solicited from students and recent graduates from anywhere in the United States in the form of an essay or a video. Nominations may be for an individual or group of students ranging from pre-college through graduate school and a few years beyond. The nomination should include information about the educational context, formal or informal, that enabled or facilitated the work.
The stories collected through this process will be showcased on a blog and at a major summit to be held April 21, 2010, at Wellesley College. Co-sponsored by Olin, Wellesley and Babson College, the summit will bring together educators, students and leaders from business and government to explore new ways to educate the next generation of Grand Challenge leaders and to celebrate the efforts of young people working to solve these problems. The winners will be selected prior to the April meeting so that high production value videos of their stories can be produced. The actual awards will be given at a special dinner the evening of the April meeting. U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will lead a lineup of speakers at the conference.
“By awarding students who create innovative ideas to solve world problems, we hope more young people will take on Grand Challenges,” said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of advancing innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. “Sharing these creative ideas with the world also might inspire entrepreneurs to turn these innovations into the new business models of tomorrow.”