This year’s Bright Sparks Design Challenge asked students to answer one question:
How might we connect resources and services within and into our communities to help students and families in need thrive?
Hundreds of students from elementary schools, high schools, and universities across the Southeast participated in months of training, learning how to solve design challenges through fundamental critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills. They used this design thinking to help United Way of Greater Chattanooga develop creative new ways to help students and families in Hamilton County thrive.
Two Hamilton County schools walked away with overall awards for their ingenuity, resourcefulness, and design plans.
Brainerd High School developed an innovative community garden with affordable, accessible, and healthy food options to help eliminate hunger for Brainerd students and their families.
Chattanooga Christian School developed Hatch, a program that teaches underserved kids to use design thinking to brainstorm potential jobs, sell a product or service at a local market and manage the money earned.
Through the Bright Sparks Design Challenge, students are learning practical skills that will remain useful through college, career and beyond. Perhaps even more importantly, they are learning to use these skills to build a better community and serve others.
Congratulations to these two Hamilton County schools! We are so proud of your efforts to strengthen supports for parents and families, a priority area for Chattanooga 2.0. And thank you to Bridge Innovate, Chambliss Center, United Way of Greater Chattanooga and all of the other sponsors and program partners who are providing our students with these opportunities.
It just takes one bright spark to ignite a community!