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720daychallenge

Will You Take the 720-Day Challenge?

Posted by Battelle Insider on Oct 17, 2016

Ready to give up your favorite snacks? Do push-ups by the thousands? Cut out caffeine? No? Well, good. You don’t have to do any of those things to participate in this challenge. This challenge is all about making high school, and the diploma received upon graduation, more meaningful.

720 is the number of days the average American high school student spends working toward their diploma. But Battelle’s Aimee Kennedy says many of those days are not meaningful.

Aimee has about 20 years of education under her belt – from teaching in a classroom to working as a principal to her current role in education innovation as Vice President of Education, STEM Learning & Philanthropy at Battelle.

She says that most students aren’t given an opportunity in traditional high schools to practice the things we expect them to be ready to do once they get their diploma. And that diploma is becoming less and less valuable.

Although our world is very different today from what it was 20 years ago, graduation requirements really haven’t changed much. Here’s where the 720-Day Challenge comes in.

“So what would happen if we take the 720 days and the notion that a diploma would mean something, and we put it together?” said Aimee. “We could build high schools that give kids the opportunity to practice what it is that got us to where we are today.”

Metro Early College High School is an example of a school that is doing it right and making sure all its students are able to participate in civic volunteering, earn early college credits and be able to explore various careers.

Here’s how you can join Aimee’s 720-Day Challenge:

Teachers – You can incorporate some real-world experience in your lessons.

Principals or School Leaders – Open up the doors of your school. Create partnerships. Bring the world in. Send your kids out.

Parents – Put pressure on your policy makers.

Learn more about the 720-Day Challenge in Aimee’s recent TEDx presentation:

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