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Brian Drayton and Gilly Puttick

— A working paper. Cambridge, MA: TERC. 2016.


In an open innovation crowdsource-like competition, the Innovate to Mitigate project invited students to propose innovations that would mitigate climate change. We hypothesized that the “previously unexploited collective intelligence” (Bull et al., 2008) of young people would be engaged, since many features of real world crowdsourcing align with features of learning environments that have been found to be effective and engaging. These include: engagement with a real world problem (Falk et al., 2010), involvement in an engineering design process that makes authentic practices accessible to learners (Edelson & Reiser, 2006), learning in depth (Roth & Lee, 2003), communicating science findings (Passmore & Stewart 2002), sustained engagement in “knowledge-building communities” (Scardamalia, 2003) project-based learning (e.g., Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006; Wirkala & Kuhn, 2011), and an emphasis on production that leads to higher-order thinking skills (Gee, 2011).