Press Conference Planned to Launch UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge

Posted: Friday, February 12, 2016

The University of Evansville, in partnership with schools in Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties and the Catholic Diocese of Evansville, will host a press conference on Tuesday, February 16. The press conference will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Vectren Board Room on the second floor of the Schroeder School of Business Building. It will be open to the public, but space is limited. The event will launch High School Changemaker Challenge, a competition for students from participating Vanderburgh and Warrick County high schools. 

High School Changemaker Challenge is designed to motivate young people to take a leading role in solving challenges in the world around them through innovation and creativity. During the contest, one team of up to three students from each competing school will vie to solve local, national or global challenges through innovative ideas for change.

“The University of Evansville is deeply committed to empowering students to engage in the world around them,” says Jill Griffin, executive director of the Institute for Global Enterprise. “We hope this competition will inspire our young people to become changemakers who tackle problems in their world and develop innovative solutions to address them.”

Evansville Vanderburgh School superintendent David Smith, Warrick County School superintendent Brad Schneider, and Catholic Diocese of Evansville School superintendent Daryl Hagan will be in attendance, along with representatives from some of the participating schools. Teachers, students and event organizers will be available to answer questions.

Schools planning to participate in the competition include Boonville High School, Bosse High School, Central High School, Castle High School, Evansville Day School, the Early College Program at Ivy Tech, Memorial High School, Mater Dei High School, New Tech Institute, North High School, Reitz High School, Signature School, the Shepard Law Academy at Harrison High School, and Tecumseh High School. Schools must register their teams by March 7.

The stakes are high for the competition, as any winning team member who chooses UE as a college destination will receive a full-tuition scholarship to the University annually for four years, as long he or she remains consecutively enrolled each semester as a full-time student, maintains satisfactory academic progress toward their degree, and fulfills the two-year residency requirement in campus housing. UE admission requirements also apply.

UE president Thomas A. Kazee notes that “we want to have more of these changemakers at our University and in the community. Preparing students to be global citizens and to make an impact in the world is central to our mission at the University of Evansville.”

The geographical range of the high schools invited to compete will likely expand for future High School Changemaker Challenge events.

“Since this is the inaugural year for this competition,” explains Griffin, “we are starting modestly. But in the future, we’d like to open this up to the entire Tri-State and possibly even bigger.”

Community leaders from Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties will judge each team’s presentation, which can be up to seven minutes in length. The criteria for selecting the winner will include: identification of a need, how innovative the solution is, the feasibility and potential impact of the solution, how self-sustaining the solution is, and the effectiveness of the presentation.

There will be an informational session for participating teams on Friday, February 12, at the University. The final competition will be at 9:00 a.m., Thursday, March 17, in Eykamp Hall, Ridgway University Center. It is free and open to the public.

For more information on UE’s High School Changemaker Challenge, visit www.evansville.edu/cc-hs, e-mail globalindiana@evansville.edu, or call 812-488-2455.

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