100 Finalists Named in Global Youth Innovation & Kindness Challenge

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The 100 best student ideas to reduce waste around the world have been named Finalists in The Paradigm Challenge, a global youth (4-18) innovation and kindness competition.

We want to empower students to help address real-world problems.

The 100 best student ideas to reduce waste around the world have been named Finalists in The Paradigm Challenge, the world's largest youth innovation and kindness competition. “We believe youth are born with an innate sense of innovating for good. Their uninhibited creativity and desire to help others and our planet put them in a great position to address big problems.”

Students aged 4 to 18 from 173 countries participated in The Paradigm Challenge and the 100 Finalists represent 18 different countries. The winning entries tackle waste reduction from different angles, including inventions, scientific research, mobile apps, community service projects, documentaries, websites, public service videos, and children's books. "The students' determination and commitment to find creative solutions to real-world problems are evident in each and every idea," noted Richardson. The 100 Finalists are posted on Project Paradigm's website, http://www.projectparadigm.org, for public voting.

The Paradigm Challenge inspires students to use kindness, creativity, and collaboration combined with STEM skills to solve real-world problems now, regardless of their age. “Anyone can become an innovator,” noted last year’s Paradigm Challenge Grand Prize winner, Emma Spencer, “You just have to put your mind to it and focus on how you can help the world.”

Each year, The Paradigm Challenge offers $250,000 in prizes to students and their inspiring teachers. The top team in each age group is flown to Los Angeles for a fun-filled awards weekend in July, culminating in a black-tie prize ceremony for the announcement of the Grand Prize winner. Last year, winning teams traveled from as far away as New Zealand and India to attend.

The competition, in its second year, has been recognized twice by The White House for its contribution to youth innovation learning. Project Paradigm’s free student-led video lesson plan help students break down problem-solving into easy, manageable steps to get from problem to solution. "Students enjoy hearing about problem-solving from the award-winning student innovators who lead them through the lesson plan video," explained Alex Sanchez, Project Paradigm's Innovation Officer. “They learn that problem-solving is all about thinking differently, trying new approaches, and continuing to find success even in the face of adversity.”

“Innovation comes in all different forms,” noted Richardson, “One Finalist is a five-year-old with a big idea about how to keep our communities litter-free. Other Finalists involve popular technologies, including CAD software, 3D printers, programmable controllers, and open source coding. All ideas are needed to help us combat global waste.”

In addition to awarding cash prizes, the private foundation behind The Paradigm Challenge is committed to turning the best student ideas into reality. “We want to empower students to help address real-world problems and, when they do, we will help implement those ideas,” said Richardson. Project Paradigm awarded last year’s Grand Prize winner, “The Fire Mitt,” an all-expenses-paid patent application and is exploring options for getting the product developed and to market. The patent applications are filed in the inventors’ names and the student inventors retain all intellectual property rights.

This year’s first place winners in each age group will be announced on June 15 and the Grand Prize winner will be announced on July 29 at The Paradigm Challenge Prize Ceremony in Los Angeles, California.

The next Paradigm Challenge inspires students to generate new ideas to improve personal health through wellness and healing and will officially launch on August 1, 2017. The entry deadline is May 1, 2018.

About The Paradigm Challenge: The Paradigm Challenge is an annual global competition created by Project Paradigm in collaboration with the American Red Cross and supported by a coalition of partners, including Youth Changing the World and the National Youth Leadership Council. The Challenge theme changes annually.

About Project Paradigm: Project Paradigm, a national private foundation headquartered in Los Angeles, California, aims to identify, support, and collaborate with passionate individuals and organizations to inspire, lead, and facilitate paradigm shifts in the approaches to global challenges. Learn more at projectparadigm.org or like us on Facebook and Twitter (@ParadigmChlleng).

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Jeff Richardson

Michelle Fishburne
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