Students in Jessica Leung's Tiger Challenge program are working to tackle some of society's most complex problems. Using design thinking methodologies and humanistic design tools, Leung guides them toward problem framing and solution building by giving them the time and space to develop their skill sets and take deep dives into the wicked problem they want to explore.
One of her program's unique aspects is that students can work on their projects for years instead of semester units. As a result, her student designers can take the skills and understanding they learn in the summer Tiger Challenge program, where they can devote ten weeks to building solutions while living in a design cohort, into Keller's year-long Community Project Studio: Tiger Challenge course.
"In Tiger Challenge, you think you are developing a solution when in fact, you are developing yourself." - Jasmeene Burton '19
Leung uses a 'show rather than tell' approach to her teaching and often illustrates her "bias towards action" mantra in her creative classroom. For example, this fall, Leung brought her students into Keller's Makerspace for an ideation and prototyping workshop. The space is full of tools, technology, and materials to inspire the students and help realize their concepts.
Leung noticed that the students were complicating matters by wanting to use technologies like AI or VR, or holograms. So she reminded the students that "prototypes can be very simple yet effective and that whatever technology you use it is just a medium; the important thing is to show the concept ." She then grabbed a sheet of paper, folded it up, and, rather than telling, showed the students how to communicate their concepts with whatever medium is available.
"The workshop was incredible. I couldn't believe how Jessica could take our concept and materialize it right in front of us in just a couple of minutes with a simple piece of paper," said Oscar Serra '25.
Oscar and his team then created a 3D printed version of that paper prototype to help advance their mission to foster Asian American belonging within the Princeton campus community by revealing the damaging effects of assumptive racial microaggression.
Applications for the Tiger Challenge Summer Program are open until February 3. If you have any questions, email Jessica Leung.