Design Challenges Program in Pittsburgh Prepares Students for Modern Workforce

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In a new interview with CMRubinWorld, Norton Gusky, the Creator of the Design Challenges, says student challenges have included water management, sustainable energies and sustainable food distribution systems.

Norton Gusky, the Creator of Design Challenges, initiates real-world projects between high school students and local businesses. “From day one, I make sure the students understand that they are consultants. They are responsible for addressing the issues,” Gusky tells C.M. Rubin Founder of CMRubinWorld. According to Gusky, the research on his 2017 – 2018 program indicates that 93% of those who participated found the program relevant and useful.

Design Challenges uses a 7 step curriculum process. All students begin by researching and understanding a significant problem faced by their local employers, then follow a time-line that includes a Kickoff, Midpoint, and Final Presentation in which they reveal their findings and solutions to the organization. Learners work for the Energy Innovation Center, a multi-disciplinary institution in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gusky explains that the challenges presented to learners have included water management, sustainable energies, planning for green infrastructure, and sustainable food distribution systems. “The student consultants are encouraged to think out of the box and test out their most creative ideas,” notes Gusky.

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Norton Gusky is the Founder of Design Challenges. In his teaching for more than 30 years, he has demonstrated the power of technology as a tool for empowering kids, educators and communities. Norton believes that technology offers students a tool for creative production, communications and collaboration. For over 20 years, he worked as the coordinator of educational technology for the Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He currently works as an educational technology broker.

CMRubinWorld’s award-winning series, The Global Search for Education, brings together distinguished thought leaders in education and innovation from around the world to explore the key learning issues faced by most nations. The series has become a highly visible platform for global discourse on 21st century learning, offering a diverse range of innovative ideas which are presented by the series founder, C. M. Rubin, together with the world’s leading thinkers.

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David Wine
David(at)cmrubinworld(dot)com

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