International Student Collaboration

Posted on May 21, 2007  Comments (0)

Contest links high school students worldwide:

During the school year, 58 teams of American students coupled with students from China, India and Japan tackled technological solutions to global warming. They chatted online, divided jobs based on skill, consulted with advisers, and in the final grueling weeks, wrote a professional business plan.

“The most important goal is to engage U.S. students in international collaboration using science and technology,” said David Gibson, executive director of the Global Challenge and a research assistant professor in computer sciences at the University of Vermont. The idea for the contest came to management consultant Craig DeLuca two years ago as one of his clients planned to outsource design and manufacturing, and his community in Stowe considered putting off buying science textbooks.

“I’ve got to do something so that our kids have a shot in the global economy,” he said then. He launched the contest in Vermont, and last fall it was awarded a $900,000 National Science Foundation Grant and expanded worldwide. Winners will be announced in June.

Not only does the contest encourage interaction between students across the globe to solve problems, it also exposes them to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, Gibson said. “We need projects like this across the nation, so we can scoop these kids up because schools don’t do it for them,” he said.

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