Tiger Challenge student designers recently visited one of the program's community partners, Grounds For Sculpture (GFS). Director of Education and Community Engagement Julio Enrique Badel not only gave the group a tour of the 42-acre sculpture park, museum, and arboretum but provided history and insights into the core mission and future vision for this unique space where visitors experience art and nature simultaneously.

This 'field trip' came at an ideal time for the cohort as they are just embarking on a summer of discovery and immersion into learning the design thinking methodologies they will use to address their wicked problems over the next eight weeks.

The student experienced firsthand how inspiring, rejuvenating, and healing art and nature in combination can be, which is the subject of one of the projects the students will be working on this summer. They will also be diving into topics relating to mitigating microaggression towards Asian Americans, climate change impacts in the Princeton community, and the safe and equitable use of motorized scooters, bikes, and skateboards.

Badel spoke to the group about the common connection between the Keller Center and GFS, as he and his colleagues also use design thinking tools and an entrepreneurial mindset to address the problems and challenges they face in their day-to-day operations. Badel shared some great advice with the group: "Be yourself, mess up, get dirty, fail; that's when the real learning begins."

Also along for the tour was GFS Manager of Workplace Development Christina Joesph. Joseph is working on a series of college fairs and study breaks at the park, "I'm envisioning local college students touring the park, relaxing on our lawns, listening to live music, and taking in the environment while letting go of the stressors of college life," said Joesph.

The afternoon raindrops didn't deter the students from exploring, playing, and engaging in the park's unique environment. A few even found themselves lost among the over 600 sculptures set along the beautiful twisting, blooming garden trails, but don't worry, we found them.

Tiger Challenge is a Keller Center program that uses design thinking methodologies to help students address complex societal issues and build sustainable solutions.

Join us for the Tiger Challenge's 50 Days of Summer end of program recap event online on Aug 2.