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Starting in Fall 2022 and culminating in Spring 2023, The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego launched the Jacobs Teen Innovation Challenge #JTIC23, our fourth annual event. This worldwide event supported educators and teenagers in developing social good solutions aligned to the UN Global Goals. The competition began with:

  • 120+ educators
  • 2900+ students
  • 18 countries
Logo: The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education in the School of Leadership and Educational Sciences at the University of San Diego

Gold trophy with Winners engraved on the plaque

1st Place: FIREfly Health

Team: MEA Mountaineers for health

FIREfly Health creates a tangible path to improved household air quality. For people who use open fires which produce large quantities of smoke inside their home and need a more efficient replacement, our stove gives them a cost effective and safe solution. It comes with easy to follow instructions (4 languages) to create it with reused materials, making it sustainable. The prototype was used to cook eggs and boil water all while directing smoke away. It also kills any possible contaminants.

Created by a team of three 8th-grade girls from Mt. Everest Academy in San Diego, CA and supported by educator Eric Nielsen.

Global Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $1000 first place prize to Doctors Without Borders.


2nd Place: The Siren Project

Team: SSFT CCA

Our product, Siren, is a subtle way to notify a security guard or transit operator in case of an emergency. Project Siren has 2 solutions: a simple button attached to the bottom of seats that wirelessly connects to an app, sending an alert when it is pressed and begins to record audio on a built-in microphone. Our second solution is a mobile web app for personal or commercial use that can be used with NFC (Near Field Communication) stickers. The app, programmed with primarily JavaScript, allows for extended button functionality in mobile devices located inside the vehicle. Stickers can be placed anywhere, but ideally on the insides of armrests, walls, or easily accessible areas. By tapping the phone against NFC stickers located throughout the trolley or train car, the web app immediately alerts the operator and on board security from the location of each sticker tapped, and begins recording audio on the phone.

Created by a diverse team of high school students from Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, CA, with equal representation of boys, girls, and one non-binary individual. Supported by educator Dvora Celniker.

Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $750 second place prize to C40 Cities.


3rd Place: Gravity Powered System (GPS)

Team: Gravity Powered Solutions (GPS)

Creating gravity powered system to help people with energy issues.

Created by a team of four 10th grade Engineering students from Kearny BST in San Diego, CA, with support and guidance from Jennifer Ogo.

Global Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

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


Duckie

Team: SWE Sage Creek

A chromebook extension targeting students with ADHD or ADD!!

Created by a team of two high school girls from different backgrounds, who are members of the Society of Women Engineers club at Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA, and supported by educator Lynette Nicolas.

Global Goal 4: Quality Education

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $250 fourth place prize to AKILAH Institute for Women.


5th Place: ModMedTech

Team: ModMedTech

ModMedTech is revolutionizing the First Aid and Survival Equipment markets. We have developed the ModPack and ModPods, which create an accessible, customizable, and modular first aid ecosystem for users.

Created by a team of four students from Coronado High School in Coronado, CA, this group includes three 11th grade girls and one 9th grade boy. Educator Roberta Lenert supported the team.

Global Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $250 fifth place prize to Doctors Without Borders.


Photonics Innovation Award: Solar Powered Phone Charger

Team: The Super Chargers

The Solar Powered Phone Charger on a visor can be used outdoors or in remote locations. It uses a renewable energy source for power (solar panel) and can be worn by itself or on top of a hat. This charger is extremely useful in case of an emergency outdoors – if your phone runs out of charge, just plug your phone in and it will charge!

Created by a team of three 7th grade girls and two 9th grade boys from a school in Sunnyvale, CA, educator Rakhi Rathi supported the team.

Global Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

The team and the educator have chosen to donate their $1000 photonics innovation award to Pratham.

This award is sponsored by DRS Daylight Solutions.

DRS Daylight Solutions

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.

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development

Our Donors

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!

*Charitable donation prizes are officially provided to the adult educator on behalf of the student team.