The Princeton student-run organization IgniteSTEM recently hosted an online design thinking challenge for over 300 high school students. This one day hackathon style conference was a chance for students to team up and build solutions to a very-wide range of climate issues using design thinking methodologies.

Keller Center entrepreneurial specialist John Danner delivered the kickoff keynote address. He emphasized the importance of team dynamics in bringing sustainable solutions to the world’s most trying problems and the opportunities that a ‘collision of ideas’ can bring.

“I was privileged to keynote the day, with a message suggesting that design thinking is all about 'ideas made real.’ I hope the day sparks their continued curiosity about this way of translating ideas into solutions to real-world problems," said Danner.

Jessica Leung, lecturer and design program manager at Keller, was also on hand to bring her expertise and insight into judging the team projects. “It was inspiring to see these young people embracing and diving into design thinking with an open mind. The innovative ideas and energizing passion of these students gives me hope for future creative solutions to not only climate issues but many of the challenges we face today,” remarked Leung.

Ignite STEM is a Princeton University based student-run non-profit organization with a mission to empower K-12 educators with skills resources and networks they need to implement project based learning in public schools worldwide. IgniteStem is possible in part with the sponsorship of the Keller Center.