Inspiring innovation: ASU Prep students poised to change the world

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Arizona State University’s Change the World event invites the college community to come forward with “ideas to achieve the future we imagine.” This event is not just a display of imagination but a call to action for students to develop solutions that could significantly impact our world. The focus is on generating ideas and creating changes that could improve lives, address global challenges, and inspire meaningful dialogue.

ASU Prep students step up to college-level challenge

This year’s event marked a remarkable milestone as ASU Prep students were invited to participate in a high school division, bringing fresh perspectives through the Change the World: Rising Innovators Challenge.

Felecia O’Neal, ASU Prep Network College and Career Coordinator, shares, “Given the remarkable success of our students, there are plans to integrate high school students with the rest of ASU next year.” This means an opportunity for high school and college students to work together and compete against one another in mixed teams, fostering an environment of dynamic innovation.

The Change the World showcase celebrates the creativity, effort, and achievements of students across various disciplines, from art displays and idea pitches to live performances and solution exhibits. A notable feature for the ASU Prep high schoolers was the poster and presentation competition, which, alongside career discussions and an ASU student panel, offered participants valuable insights into making their mark on the world. Students even received coaching on how to showcase opportunities like this one on their resume.

The unity and teamwork across the ASU Prep network was pivotal in getting students from all five high school campuses involved, especially on a tight schedule surrounding spring break. O’Neal emphasizes, “Every single one of the principals, the teachers, the students, the network team, everybody rose to the occasion. It was pretty phenomenal.”

Real-world learning opportunities

O’Neal describes the special experience as “an opportunity for students to feel at home on an ASU campus and strengthen their affinity to ASU.” Gavyn Lara, ASU Prep Digital 9th grader who won the “Student Choice Award,” loved getting to present at ASU Tempe’s Mountain America Stadium and shares his goal of one day attending ASU Fulton Schools of Engineering.

He’s well on his way with an innovative project like the one he presented, aimed at enhancing airline passenger safety and crash damage control. Gavyn’s vision of designing an aircraft with detachable sections for emergency landings illustrates the groundbreaking ideas young minds are capable of. Gavyn explained that his project encompasses several areas of study, including Materials Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, as well as Mechanical Engineering.

Gavyn’s experience highlights not just the technical skills gained but also the personal growth opportunities such events foster. He says he learned valuable lessons about time management, professionalism, presentation skills, and responsibility, all of which are essential for future success. “I feel like that can help me on my way to college and a career. There are a lot of careers that require you to have critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities. And this starts me on that route,” says Gavyn about his Change the World experience.

Rising innovators: ASU Prep award winners

ASU Prep students presented an impressive array of projects and presentations at Change the World: Rising Innovators Challenge, culminating in the recognition of the following award winners:

Student Choice Award: Gavyn Lara from ASU Prep Digital for “Changing the World with Airline Passenger Safety and Crash Damage Control,” proposing a groundbreaking concept for safer commercial aircraft landing.

1st Place: Kimanee Payne, Utzielly Beltran, Zoe Buttram, and Isabella Laye from ASU Prep Downtown for “Beyond the Streets Initiative,” a transformative program addressing homelessness and supporting self-sufficiency.

2nd Place: Cheyla Martinez, Ricayla Lemonias, Yazmin Hernandez Monroy, and Jacqueline Miranda Martinez from ASU Prep South for “Unpacking Dropout Rates,” a comprehensive student service program aimed at improving college retention rates.

3rd Place: Micah Dye, Ohm Joshi, Daymon Taylor, and Joaquin Silva from ASU Prep Poly for “M.D.S. Scraptower,” an innovative solution enhancing safety and productivity in workshop classrooms.

Empowering tomorrow’s leaders today

Change the World serves as a powerful reminder of the potential within each student to contribute to global change. By providing a platform for these ideas and fostering an environment of collaboration and innovation, ASU is helping shape the future leaders our world needs.

ASU Prep is proud to play an integral role in this pioneering approach to education, reinforcing the importance of giving young innovators the tools, space, and encouragement to turn their visions into reality.

Our participation highlights our commitment to nurturing young innovators but also solidifies our place at the forefront of educational excellence. Discover more about how ASU Prep is shaping the next generation of global leaders through innovative programs.