The Visualization Competition idea describe below is not yet a reality. It needs an owner/project manager who will turn this page into a business plan and proposal so that sponsors and funding can be generated to implement and grow the idea.
Below is a visualization done by Sam Lee, an intern from IIT in Chicago who is from Korea. IIT interns have served six week internships with Tutor/Mentor Connection every six months for the past few years.
You can see work done by interns in many places:
Instead of one intern working on these projects, I'd like to create an on-going award program, that encourages students from all over the world to innovate their own ways to communicate these ideas. The projects announced at the November conference could be worked on by teams until March of the next year, then put on a web site for display, and for public voting. The voting could go until May, and the winners could be announced at the May Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference. At that event, we also would announce new projects for students to work on, which would be finished in time for the Nov. conference.
We could repeat this cycle each year with new ideas being worked on, or with older ideas being looked at again, with a fresh set of students. As more and more students take part in this competition we build their understanding of Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC ideas. As more and more people go on-line to look at the projects and vote to show which they like best, we expand the awareness and use of these ideas.
Each year the ideas submitted can become part of a library of community information that is used throughout the year to support civic engagement and that future teams can use to inspire their own thinking in future competitions. In some case the same idea could be communicated by hundreds of different student groups over a period of years.
Students working on such projects would be involved in "deeper learning" and "project based learning" which engages them in real-world problem solving, while teaching them skills that they can apply in their own learning, careers and adult lives. Read more about "deeper learning" on this Hewlett Foundation web site.
What is needed to make this happen?
Sponsors from business, museums, hospitals and other organizations who benefit from more youth coming out of school better prepared for 21st century jobs and careers are needed. Money is needed to build a platform to share work done by students (see examples below), to recruit and coach students and volunteers to do these projects, provide awards, and provide forums like May and November conferences where youth can showcase their work. Funds are also needed to update the Tutor/Mentor Institute mapping capacity so that we can create maps similar to this one that show icons on the map indicating a growing number of places where youth teams are involved in this critical thinking, problem solving and communications activity.
These are examples of competitions done elsewhere:
Once a team of volunteers/investors commit to building a platform to host student visualizations, they will need to look at platforms where others are hosting various forms of competitions. From these we can borrow "best ideas" and incorporate them into our own platform. Below are just a few of what can be found on the Internet.
Next Vista For Learning hosts competitions on its site. See how they do this.
Social Innovation Competition - The University of Texas at Austin and Dell are looking for university students around the world with innovative ideas to solve a social or environmental problem. We’re giving away more than $100,000 in cash prizes to at least five winning teams who will be flown to Austin, Texas for an expense-paid Finalist Week-End that culminates in a final pitch and awards ceremony.
* StayClassy Awards recognize philanthropic efforts
* Student Competitions web site is an example of a platform hosting student competitions
* Chicago Architectural Foundation Competition. This page shows some of the winners from past years.
* Challenge Posts - this site focuses on software and application development and hosts a variety of "challenges" and "competitions".
Other public awareness building activities involving youth and/or college students