ASU Prep program pairs Arizona students with South African peers

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A group of 8th-grade students from ASU Prep Digital is participating in a global leadership exchange program that includes working with students in South Africa to understand what’s driving global issues and how best to affect change. Ava Martinez is one of the students taking part in the program. Shawn Carey is her ASU digital-prep teacher

“ASU Prep Digital is an online school, K-12, that’s really taken off in the last few years due to the pandemic of COVID. We have students from Arizona, we have students from the United States, and we have partnerships like we’re going to talk about today, with South Africa,” Carey said.”

A group of six students from ASU Prep Digital was chosen to take part in the Global Leadership Exchange pilot program. The class is intended to present the students with examples of real-world challenges, which they then work to solve.

“My job is to just push out a challenge and say ‘here’s the problem, now how are you gonna fix it?’ and they work together through Zoom,” Carey said.  “They go into breakout rooms, and first they go through what’s called a Discovery Phase where they research what the problem is, and then they move into how out how they can fix the problem, and then they create what’s called a deliverable, where they’re creating a presentation of how they solved this problem, and they present it to the class. ”

Beyond problem-solving, the class gives students the chance to connect with students a world away.

“We got to know each other, and we just talked about how our lives differ because they’re in South Africa and we’re here in the United States,” Ava said. “We got to know each other from our different experiences and perspectives, and the class really brought us together.”

Shawn Carey / Teacher, ASU Prep Digital
Ava Martinez / Student, ASU Prep Digital

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