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A student holds a laptop and writes on a dry erase board.

A student brainstorms ideas on a dry erase board. In place of in-person outreach activities this summer, The Challenge 2020 virtual engineering design competition tasked Arizona high school students to develop solutions for social distancing at their schools as they prepare to return to classes in the fall. (Photo: Marco-Alexis Chaira / ASU)

Teens Design Back-to-School Strategies Amid COVID-19

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Teens Design Back-to-School Strategies Amid COVID-19

June 24, 2020
Arizona high school juniors and seniors use engineering design thinking to solve social distancing challenges in their schools through a virtual statewide competition hosted by Arizona universities.

Engineering is a method of problem-solving that can help address a variety of challenges — even how students can safely and effectively return to school during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 was the catalyst to bring high school students from across Arizona together in a virtual event to learn engineering design thinking skills. The University of Arizona College of Engineering, alongside the  Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Northern Arizona University College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences hosted an educational outreach activity called The Challenge 2020.

“I always like to tell people that if they want to pursue a career where they can make a difference, they’ll find a home in engineering,” says David W. Hahn, the Craig M. Berge Dean of the UA College of Engineering. “In The Challenge, a new generation of students will see the impact engineers can make when they create a solution to a real-world problem.”