Inspiring Learning by Amplifying Youth Voices & Ideas

Posted on Mon, April 19, 2021 by
Guest post contributed by Startland.


How can students help motivate their peers to engage in their education?

By amplifying youth voices, ideas, and perspectives, we give students the opportunity to connect with and inspire other students in a meaningful way.

Our friends at KC STEM Alliance challenged Startland with the task of amplifying youth leadership and voice in Remake Learning Days 2021, a 10-day innovative learning festival for families and youth, hosted in 17 regions across the United States.  With sponsorship by The DeBruce Foundation, we created a design challenge to encourage area students to pitch a concept for an engaging, youth-led workshop at the Kansas City regional festival, hosted in May. We partnered with youth organizations in the community to recruit groups of students who are passionate about a particular art, practice, or topic, and who could translate their passion into an educational experience for their peers. We also included high school members of The DeBruce Career Corps as judges to include more youth perspective. Through this program, a total of 6 teams applied to pitch their concept for the festival.

While all of the student pitches were truly inspiring, our team of judges were tasked with choosing the top 3 teams to receive a 4-week vShip with Startland that would help them further build their concept and marketing strategy for the event. From interactive drone races, to body positivity workshops, here are a few of the projects our participating students pitched:


Interactive Drone Race

Students from MINDDRIVE pitched an event with the goal of introducing students to new, emerging tech, and providing hands-on activities in STEM during the pandemic. Their interactive drone race would allow students to fly drones in a competitive in-person race, with the option to watch live via a live stream.


Sankofa Karate Event

Students from the Sankofa Leadership Initiative pitched an event where they display how karate trains the body, as well as the mind. They believe that practicing karate can help students build confidence and gain tools for experiencing the world.


Roadmap in Change for Education

Students from MINDDRIVE pitched a program where students can find a passion for the art of engineering fabrication through hands-on learning experiences, guided by mentors. While many students feel like what they’re learning in school is irrelevant to the outside world, this event would give participants real life skills that may help them select appropriate post-secondary education.


Body Positivity & Acceptance Workshop

Participants from the Girl Scout Seniors of Troop 2309 pitched a “Body Positivity and Acceptance” workshop with the goal to help teenage females to feel good about themselves. The workshop would teach teenagers about self care, body positivity, and would include activity kits and journaling exercises.



Throughout this experience, students had the opportunity to engage with mentors and get professional feedback on their presentations.

Here’s what a few of our participating students had to say:


“This was a great opportunity to really further my thinking and to get feedback and discussion with professionals.”

“My favorite part was the interaction with the mentors. They took time to talk to us individually, hear our ideas, and give us ideas to improve. Their feedback was definitely valuable.”

“The mentors and coaches gave lots of feedback and really made me dive into deeper thinking about what I can do to change and make my presentation better.”

“Finding real ways to share what you enjoy and coming up with an event to do that—there’s something exciting about having something tangible to share.”

“This was my first time pitching something. It was definitely scary, but I know that I was able to do it, and I feel like I could use these skills in real life situations.”



Thank you again to our supporting partners, KC STEM Alliance and The DeBruce Foundation. Stay tuned for a recap of the final workshop on the Startland Blog.

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