Stage 5: Students as World Changers

Who is doing this work (or close to it) right now?

Are there any schools or programs out there that are engaging students as innovative problem solvers who will change the world? The answer is yes!

The brightest spot (that we currently know about) started with an 8th grade science teacher, Rich Lehrer in Massachusetts. The Global Efficient Cookstove Education Project teams up middle school students from around the world to learn about science and engineering concepts via the problem of inefficient cooking methods in developing countries. This year, 6 schools in the United States have partnered with schools in 6 other countries to develop, design and test out their cookstoves. You can read more about it here.

photo credit: Rich Lehrer
photo credit: Rich Lehrer










Another bright spot is Civicorps High School in Oakland, California. The students are between the ages of 18 – 24, targeting those who did not complete high school and giving them a second chance via a rich, hands-on curriculum that promotes environmental stewardship and civic action.

photo credit:
photo credit:









High Tech High runs 11 schools spanning from Kindergarten to 12th grade in the San Diego region and seeks to create schools with high personalization, adult world connection, common intellectual mission and teacher as designer.


Hopefully these examples will inspire us to press forward to transform our schools into ones that we know our students and our planet deserve. Do you know of other bright spots of teachers, schools or projects that re-imagine education that will foster young people’s ability to change the world? Share them here!



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