Winners & Finalists – The Jacobs Institute Changemaker Challenge

Teens are building a better word.

In Spring 2020, The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego launched the first-ever Jacobs Institute Changemaker Challenge. This worldwide event, sponsored by Dr. Irwin and Mrs. Joan Jacobs, supported educators and teenagers in developing social good solutions aligned to the UN Global Goals. The competition began with:

  • 40+ educators
  • 1500+ students
  • 3 countries
  • 13 US states
Logo: The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education in the School of Leadership and Educational Sciences at the University of San Diego

Prizes

The intrinsic reward of developing an innovator’s mindset and making a difference in the world is a great incentive. Additionally, we wanted to make it extra rewarding by providing a tangible award!

  • 1st place winners* receive $500 for the student team and $500 for their teacher
  • 2nd–5th place winners* receive $250 for the student teams and $250 for their teacher
Gold trophy with Winners engraved on the plaque

1st Place: Go-Green Food Bags

Over 300 million tons of plastic is produced annually. 50% of that plastic is manufactured for single-use purposes. What if you could help the Earth by changing one small thing in your lifestyle?

Introducing Go-Green Food Bags! These may look like your average, reusable food bags, but they’re not. Our Go-Green Bags are hand-made, resuable, 100% eco-friendly, and made from recycled materials.

Created by a 9th grade team with two girls and two boys from Mount Everest Academy and supported by teachers Eric Nielson and Kris Rodenberg.

Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Photograph of two Go-Green Bags
Infographic. Benefits of Using Our Go-Green Bags include protecting wildlife, cleaning our oceans, limiting the chances of global warming getting worse, and reducing your carbon footprint. You can do all of this just by using our bags.

2nd Place: Idle Reminder

Idle Reminder is a solution to target greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, specifically idling busses. By addressing this issue, they hope to improve air quality and slow the impacts of increased temperatures and rising sea levels making our cities more sustainable.

Created by a 10th-grade team of two girls and two boys from E3 Civic High School and supported by teacher Stephen Cerruti.

Infographic. Project Function: Reminder to be conscious of gas, less gas emissions released in San Diego, Has never been done before. Picture of MTS bus.
Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities


3rd Place: PhytoAttack

PhytoAttack is a system to help protect shellfish from the impacts of climate change.

Created by team Hidali, Alana, Jeshua, Lillian, and Leilanie, a team of 10th-grade scholars from E3 Civic High School and supported by teacher Stephen Cerruti.

Infographic. Our Prototype with video game controllers at that top. Text: Our solution is an interconnected, sea changing machine for helping shellfish that are being intoxicated by plankton in the depths of the sea.
Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities


4th Place: Gender Equality

Gender Equality is an app designed to protect and provide resources for women, emergency protocols, reporting features, and community building.

Created by Femme, a team of five 9th grade girls from Mount Everest Academy and supported by teachers Eric Nielson and Kris Rodenberg.

Infographic. How it works: Community & Education. The last page enabled users to connect with other women and build a supportive community. Online courses like self defense, self love, and empowerment will be offered. Lastly, it allows women to safely and privately report acts of domestic or sexual abuse.
Global Goal 5: Gender Equality


5th Place: Life in a Bucket

Life in a Bucket is a bucket that helps filter water, intending this to be used in underdeveloped areas where clean water is not always easily accessible.

Created by a team of 9th graders from Kearny High School of Biomedical Science and Technology and supported by teacher Daina Weber.

Infographic. A life in a bucket sounds like it can save lives of hundred thousands of people in the world. Simply because this bucket contains filters to clean dirty water into drinkable water. For instance, people in Africa have a low percentage of drinking water. This Life in a Bucket can filter their dirty water into clean drinkable water.
Global Goal 14: Life Below Water


Silver trophy with Finalists engraved on the plaque

Finalists

The following student teams and their teachers will receive finalist certificates in recognition of their solutions. Finalists are listed alphabetically.

  • 10th Grade DT Housing 2 – Created by team “10th Grade DT Housing 2” from E3 Civic High School and supported by teacher Luis Marquez (SDG #11)
  • Alternative Face Masks – Created by team “Interesting Story” from E3 Civic High School and supported by teacher Jaime Green (SDG #11)
  • Bic Mac – Created by team “Big Mac” from Kearny High School of Biomedical Science and Technology and supported by teacher Daina Weber (SDG #6)
  • Clean Water Filtration Project – Created by team “StVE” from Frances S. Demasi Middle School and supported by teacher Maria Kruzdlo (SDG #6)
  • Life Under Water – Created by team “Life Under Water” from Mt. Everest Academy and supported by teachers Eric Nielson and Kris Rodenberg (SDG #14)
  • Mood Tracker – Created by team “Fet’s Luck” from E3 Civic High School and supported by teacher Jaime Green (SDG #11)
  • The Awareness Initiative Project – Created by team “The Awareness Initiative ” from Frances S. Demasi Middle School and supported by teacher Maria Kruzdlo (SDG #13)
  • The Health Insurance Project – Created by team “Pineapple Juice” from Kearny High School of Biomedical Science and Technology and supported by teacher Daina Weber (SDG #3)
  • The Mental Health Project – Created by team “uwu childs” from Frances S. Demasi Middle School and supported by teacher Maria Kruzdlo (SDG #3)
  • Wildfire Awareness – Created by team “Sofia, Valeria, Kassandra, and Alexander” from E3 Civic High School and supported by teacher Stephen Cerruti (SDG #11)
  • World Puzzle Piece – Created by team “Plant Gang” from E3 Civic High School and supported by teacher Jaime Green (SDG #11)

Global Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Global Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Global Goal 13: Climate Action
Global Goal 14: Life Below Water

What’s Next?

Jacobs Teen Innovation Challenge by Pactful with the Global Goals for Sustainable Development
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You can help build a better world by donating to support our work. We are thankful for all contributions, no matter how small. You can make a difference!

*All prize awards will be provided in Visa gift cards. Prizes over $600 given to U.S. Citizens and resident aliens will be reported by the University of San Diego on an Internal Revenue (IRS) Form 1099-MISC. Please note, the IRS has stipulated that amounts less than $600 are required to be self-reported by the recipient on their personal tax return.