Above is a small sampling of the many submissions to the Youth Prize

LAGI 2015–16 Youth Prize

According to a recent report highlighted by the World Economic Forum*, as automation continues to change the workplace, the highest valued skills are increasingly dominated by creativity, critical thinking, complex problem solving, cognitive flexibility, and emotional intelligence— all qualities that require the arts to be integrally interwoven into the fabric of our lives.

Providing STEAM education to high school students using the Arts as the delivery vehicle is an engaging way to instill an early interest in the scientific method, provide useful technical skills, and introduce systems thinking. Project-based learning can help students think creatively about design challenges in order to find innovative solutions.

With these thoughts in mind, and building off of the educational materials from past LAGI competitions, we launched a Youth Prize to coincide with the LAGI 2016 professional competition.

In addition to a custom Youth Prize design brief, we provided a 13-step Toolkit of activities that teachers and students could use to take them through the entire design process for the development of a land art generator for a site next to the Santa Monica Pier.

Entering a world already grappling with the issue of climate change, the high school students of today will be leading the design of our energy solutions of tomorrow. Through LAGI, we want to nurture a global community of young people equipped to design our new energy landscapes. The process of imagining renewable energy as artwork for public spaces is a great way to inspire young people to want to learn more about energy science and engineering.

The Youth Prize was open throughout the 2015–2016 school year, allowing classrooms to integrate the project into their curriculum. We were delighted by the embrace of the Toolkit by teachers and administrators, and the way that cross-disciplinary collaborations within schools brought teachers from many different subjects together for the challenge.

It was a pleasure to be able to speak in person at schools or video conference into classrooms to provide feedback and answer questions about the design brief. We’re looking forward to continuing and expanding on the Youth Prize Toolkit in the years to come.

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