Five Lehi High School students, Hannah Melville, Nathan Imbler, Ethan Hemingway, Brandon Breinholt, and Kyler Cressall entered the Lenovo Future Academy Traveling Storybook contest at the suggestion of LHS Media Specialist, Sam Bryan. They combined their talents to create digital art and a 1000-word essay that encapsulates their shared vision of education in the year 2070. Out of hundreds of entries, the LHS team made it into the top ten. If they get enough online votes, Lehi High School could win $25,000 toward upgrading technology at the school. (Go to lenovotravelingstorybook.com/gallery#lehi-high-school to vote until March 19.)
“We came up with ideas about school in the future and we knew technology would be a big part of that, but we didn’t want technology to be our primary focus. We feel like schooling is so much more than just technology,” said Nathan Imbler. Hannah Melville proposed environmentally friendly changes in the lunchroom and teacher-regulated free school and hygiene supplies on campus for students in need.
“A lot will change in 50 years – so much has changed even since our parents were in school. Even with advances in technology, I think we’ll always need teachers. It’s the connection teachers make with students that makes us want to learn,” said Brandon Breinholt.
The team ran with Hannah Melville’s idea of a culinary arts program that would include obtaining a food handler’s permit and on-campus training preparing meals in the cafeteria. “That way you could get work experience and transition immediately into a job,” Melville explained.
In the LHS team’s vision of 2070 education, virtual reality models would give students the freedom to experiment on a much wider scale. “We wanted to incorporate technology without having it become a crutch. Nothing can replace human interaction. The model of teacher and classroom has worked for hundreds of years – there’s no reason to stop,” said Imbler.
During their lunchtime brainstorming sessions, the five LHS students learned how to listen to each other, respectfully eliminate some ideas and add to others. “We’ve always enjoyed the library – we’re self-proclaimed nerds. I feel like all of us made contributions that improved the final essay and art,” said Imbler. The students could only work on the Traveling Storybook entry during school hours “I thought of these kids when I saw this contest because I knew they’d be cool with extra homework,” joked Media Specialist Sam Bryan.
“We really learned how to take constructive criticism and workshop the ideas we came up with. We genuinely considered each individual idea. Even though we originally started this for fun, we still wanted to submit something that was quality work,” said Imbler.
“It would be really cool to win,” added Breinholt.