Among the first Global Challenge team winners was Michael Gibson. He worked with Chinese and American students in a science learning system to develop a 30-page business proposal for a car with an engine on each wheel, which would reduce friction and enhance efficiency.
Talking to the Christian Science Monitor, Gibson recalled: “There were times when you were like, uh, I don’t know about this–there’s so much to do.” But then his team found out that real engineers were actually working on a similar car model. “We thought, ‘Hey, that wasn’t so dumb!'”
Domenico Grasso, dean of the University of Vermont’s engineering school, notes the importance of the cross-cultural cooperation aspect of the Global Challenge learning system. It helps students to “look at working with our colleagues overseas, instead of seeing them as a nemesis,” he explains. The Global Challenge project is an example of how 21st century skills should be applied: with incentives for students to get excited about solving problems. Fancy tools won’t do it alone.
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