The Aspen Institute Challenge


The Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnet formed a team of nine science magnet students, entered the challenge, were accepted into the 2013 Aspen Institute Challenge and finished as one of the the three winning teams.



L.A. students tackle social problems for Aspen Ideas Festival



The winning student team with Rafael Quezada, RootStock Founder, and Joe Starks, Sciences Magnet teacher at Westchester and member of the RootStock board.




The Aspen Institute Conference and Challenge 2013

the 8 challenges are:

1•  As a good digital citizen, show how to use media to create a positive change in the community and inspire others

2•  Use an art form to make a difference and create change in your community

3•  Effectively direct community activities to increase interest, enthusiasm, and participation in science among high school students

4•  Use impromptu performance to open the hearts, minds, and eyes when you perceive they are shut, helping to uphold equality where there is inequality.

5•  Use the storytelling power of media to lead, inspire, and engage in dialog with people to effect social change, using a globally collaborative film to be self-produced on the subject of "The Science of Character"... inspire storytelling by encouraging others to participate as storytellers themselves.


6•  (a) Discover a local or international opportunity that is ready for interoperable intervention, (b) Propose and design a possible intervention, and (c) Buildout and test the intervention in the real world.

7•  Find a way to start a social movement to protect the oceans by examining how our (human) activity is harmful to life in the seas and that we need to change all the little habits that humans have developed that harm the oceans, little by little, every day, that translates into huge damage in the environment over time.

8•  How would you leverage under-utilized resources (like schools on the weekends and during summer) and create a place where you and your peers can come together in the interest of creating a healthier community... in regards to food.

With the solution you design, illustrate how the project would look after you incentivized your peers to be a part of that solution, including securing the space so it makes a difference in food systems and the benefits it would have on your community at large.




Here is a short promotional video outlining the goals of the Aspen Institute Challenge, Los Angeles Unified School District, 2014




“Shoot for the stars, so if you fall you land on a cloud.” ― Kanye West














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