Students tackle world problems during pop-up challenge

Published: Apr. 4, 2019 at 6:11 PM EDT
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Students from across East Tennessee gathered at UT to help find solutions for our worlds biggest problems.

"We all have ideas, but we don't know how to achieve them," Hardin Valley Academy student Claudia Pulaido said.

She and others are part of the World Savvy pop up challenge, ready to tackle problems found here in East Tennessee like water pollution.

"The Tennessee river is one of the most polluted rivers and that was kind of crazy to us," Hardin Valley Academy student Naomi Shumpert said.

She said World Savvy teaches students to start with solving problems closest to them.

"The emphasize phase is more about people," Naomi said. "I think that's one of the things we're missing in teaching about environment is that it affects us as people, not just the world."

From there they defined the problem, come up with ideas, test a prototype and put it into action. For Naomi and her team, an ad campaign was the best idea to stop water pollution.

"Geared toward younger kids on YouTube," Naomi said. "We made it kind of like some of the other commercials on YouTube, and gave information about it so that they would be more inclined to take action."

These lessons are empowering these students to take action.

"It's different here than in school, because in school our teachers are like 'this is the solution'," Claudia said. "Here it's just like you are a part of creating that solution, and you have a voice in making that solution."