Starting in Fall 2020 and culminating in Spring 2021, The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego launched the Jacobs Teen Innovation Challenge #JTIC21, a follow-up to the Jacobs Institute Changemaker Challenge from 2020. This worldwide event supported educators and teenagers in developing social good solutions aligned to the UN Global Goals. The competition began with:

  • 100+ educators
  • 2800+ students
  • 11 countries
  • 19 US states
  • 65% of US students from Title 1 schools
Logo: The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education in the School of Leadership and Educational Sciences at the University of San Diego

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Photograph of Dr. Irwin and Mrs. Joan Jacobs

Our work is supported by the generosity of Dr. Irwin and Mrs. Joan Jacobs. You can become a sponsor of our work too! Every gift we receive will support our effort to build a better world.

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Prizes

The intrinsic reward of developing an innovator’s mindset and making a difference in the world is a great incentive, but winning teams and their solutions will be celebrated in the media and social media. In addition, winning teams will receive certificates celebrating their success, plus a donation* to a charity in the team’s honor!

  • The 1st Place Team will receive $1000 for their charity.
  • The 2nd Place Team will receive $750 for their charity.
  • The 3rd Place Team will receive $500 for their charity.
  • The 4th and 5th Place Teams will receive $250 for their charity.
Gold trophy with Winners engraved on the plaque

1st Place: The Space Umbrella

Team: Poverty Preventers

The solution created by this team provides portable protection from extreme weather conditions including low temperatures, precipitation, and harsh sun. People experiencing poverty and homelessness are often at a loss for shelter. With climate change becoming more and more prominent, the shelter necessity is growing. Unexpected extreme weather fluctuations subject people lacking shelter to many serious life threatening reactions. Shelters that provide cover are often not accessible.

Created by a 9th grade team with two girls and one boy from Mount Everest Academy in San Diego, California, and supported by educator Eric Nielson.

Global Goal 1: No Poverty

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $1000 first place prize to Helping Other People (HOPe).


2nd Place: Wake up, Pointe Shoes!

Team: WABISABI JAPAN

The solution created by this team focuses on the huge amount of pointe shoes thrown away every year in the ballet world. In order to reduce the amount of shoes (waste) and the cost of a pair, the team has come up with a collect → reuse (remake into a different merchandise) → sell (make money) → reduce the price of Pointe Shoes cycle.

Created by a team of 11th and 12th grade Japanese girls from Sacred Heart School, Tokyo in Tokyo (Minato-ku, Shirokanedai, Japan) and supported by educator Kumiko Hirakata.

Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Logo for United States Business Council for Sustainable Development

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $750 second place prize to The United States Business Council for Sustainable Development.


3rd Place: The OriFlair

Team: The Renewabears

The solution created by this team addresses climate change and attitudes about climate change. Climate change will never be abolished if everyone isn’t on the same side. Unfortunately, in today’s society, that is the case. So why not normalize climate action, to do so? Solar chargers are bulky, expensive, and targeted towards outdoor enthusiasts. The OriFlair, however, is different. It is lightweight, thin, and speedy. Assets like accessories, power-banks, and more, make this ideal for the young innovators of the next generation: us!

Created by a team with one 7th grader and two 8th graders from STEM School Highlands Ranch in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and supported by educator Simi Basu.

Global Goal 13: Climate Action

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $500 third place prize to the World Resources Institute.


4th Place: T.A.L.J²’s Instagram Project

Team: T.A.L.J²

The solution created by this team addresses the UN global goal of Gender Equality by creating a mock Instagram page for LGBTQIA+ youth and their families and friends.

Created by Teen Club of high school homeschoolers from Learning Journeys Forum in San Diego, California, and supported by educator Jill Pearson-Keltner.

Global Goal 5: Gender Equality

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $250 fourth place prize to The Trevor Project.


5th Place: Fighting Asian Hate Crimes (FAHC)

Team: Victor Ludorum

The solution created by this team is an app designed to help those either witnessing or being victimized by racism toward Asians to report their experiences and request assistance from emergency services as necessary. It’s more effective than calling 911 directly as the app populates critical information about the incident of hate crime towards Asians.

Created by a pair of tenth grade Indian-American girls from South Feyette High School in McDonald, Pennsylvania, and supported by educator James Hausman.

Global Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
Room to Read logo

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $250 fifth place prize to Room to Read.


Honorable Mention: Gender Equity’s Project

Team: EGTS

The solution created by this team addresses inequity of women in STEM careers. The team identified the issue to be a lack of education and identified opportunities for middle school girls. The group created a website to promote STEM inspiration and opportunities among middle school girls.

Created by a team of 7th-grade girls in their after-school Civic Endeavors program from Fullerton School District in Fullerton, California, and supported by educator Amy Sylvester.

Global Goal 5: Gender Equality


Honorable Mention: Clean Water Backpack

Team: NOSS

The solution created by this team allows families to sanitize the water that they collect from ponds and rivers, transport this valuable commodity with ease while carrying other necessary items for their journey such as food or first aid, and use that water to create antibacterial soap to wash their hands and bathe. The cartridges are removable so if all of the water has not been used, an empty cartridge can be inserted into the backpack while the cartridge with water still in it can be left at home.

Created by a team of High School Seniors in a Engineering Design & Capstone Class from Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois, and supported by educator Ken Adkins.

Global Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation


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.

  • 3A Living – Created by team Pointers from Point Loma High School in San Diego, CA and supported by educator Kathy Schulze (Global Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities)
  • A2 – MOCA’s Project – Created by team A2 – MOCA from Del Lago Academy in Escondido, CA and supported by educator Alyssa Wallace (Global Goal 4 – Quality Education)
  • Anti-Racisme Project – Created by team United with Equality from All Saint High School Intermediate/Ottawa Catholic School Board in Kanata, Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) and supported by educator Justin Breton (Global Goal 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions)
  • Biking Towards Change – Created by team Biking Towards Change from Girl Scouts/SWE -Society of Women Engineers in San Diego, CA and supported by educator Tobey Tam (Global Goal 13 – Climate Action)
  • Hydrogen Generator – Created by team Affordable and Clean Energy’s Project from Mt. Everest Academy in San Diego, CA and supported by educator Daniel Spiegelberg (Global Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy)
  • Let’s be humans, be one… – Created by team Karlovacka team from Karlovacka gimnazija in Sremski Karlovci (Serbia) and supported by educator Branka Ranisavljevic (Global Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-Being)
  • Magnetic Net – Created by team J.E. Help the Earth from All Saint High School Intermediate/Ottawa Catholic School Board in Kanata, Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) and supported by educator Justin Breton (Global Goal 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption)
  • OLP Peace Channel – Created by team Academy of Our Lady of Peace from Academy of Our Lady of Peace in San Diego, CA and supported by educator Emily Devereaux (Global Goal 5 – Gender Equality)
  • Pawly Virtual Adoption – Created by team Liwa Lynx from Liwa International School for Girls in Alain, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and supported by educator Naama Alshamsi (Global Goal 15 – Life On Land)
  • Reservoir of the Sea – Created by team Reservoir of the Sea from Parks Junior High School in Fullerton, CA and supported by educator Tricia Gee (Global Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation)
  • Sarah & Lucas’s Project – Created by team Sarah & Lucas’s Project (Sarah Corneck and Lucas Varnas) from Staples High School in Westport, CT and supported by educator Amy Parent (Global Goal 14 – Life Below Water)
  • Sustainable Cities Project – Created by team The Architects from Maine East High school in Park Ridge, IL and supported by educator Ken Adkins (Global Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities)
  • Teenage Climate Action Alliance (T-CAA) – Created by team Teenage Climate Action Alliance (T-CAA)’s Project from Girl Scouts/SWE – Society of Women Engineers in San Diego, CA and supported by educator Tobey Tam (Global Goal 15 – Life On Land)
  • The Education Link – Created by team The Education Link from Girl Scouts/SWE -Society of Women Engineers in San Diego, CA and supported by educator Tobey Tam (Global Goal 4 – Quality Education)
  • The Microfiber Catcher #7 – Created by team The Microfiber Catcher from Mt. Everest Academy in San Diego, CA and supported by educator Eric Nielsen (Global Goal 14 – Life Below Water)
  • The Quanta’s Project – Created by team THE QUANTA from Maine West High School in Des Plaines, IL and supported by educator Timothy Heim (Global Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy)
  • Water Savr – Created by team Water Savr from Durham Academy in Durham, NC and supported by educator Karl Schaefer (Global Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation)
  • Zéro faim pour le monde – Created by team Zéro faim pour le monde from All Saint High School Intermediate/Ottawa Catholic School Board in Kanata, Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) and supported by educator Justin Breton (Global Goal 2 – Zero Hunger)

Global Goal 2: Zero Hunger
Global Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Global Goal 4: Quality Education
Global Goal 5: Gender Equality
Global Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
Global Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Global Goal 13: Climate Action
Global Goal 14: Life Below Water
Global Goal 15: Life on Land
Global Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

What’s Next?

2021 Teacher Camp - Build a Better World Using Social Good Innovation. Camp dates are June 17–July 8, 2021
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You can help build a better world by donating to support our work at the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education. We are thankful for all contributions, no matter how small. You can make a difference!

*Charitable donation prizes are officially provided to the educator for the student team.