US teens envision fall school reopening during COVID-19 pandemic

Source:Reuters Published: 2020/6/30 19:43:41

Broadway in New York City on Monday Photo: AFP

When US schools begin the next academic year with the country still fighting the coronavirus pandemic, students should spend half their time in classrooms and half doing online activities that pinpoint their individual learning style such as videos or reading.

That advice comes from Nimish Mathur, 17, and his team from DuPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky.

The "I'm So Confused Gang" team submitted its idea for reopening school in the age of COVID-19 to a competition sponsored by Discover Your Genius (DYG), a nonprofit company that challenges young people to solve real-world business problems.

First place and $1,500 in prize money went to Team Finn from Northwood High School in Irvine, California, DYG announced on Monday. Team Finn members included Miya Liu, Matthew Kim, Helena Zhou, all 16, and Henry Chen, 17. The rest of the winners from the competition, which involved team members aged 13 to 24 from 23 states vying for a piece of the $5,000 prize, will be announced on Tuesday.

Mathur's team would use any winnings to buy a URL to activate their website, Virtual Aristotle. It was named after the Greek philosopher and a teacher of Alexander the Great, who became ruler of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.

"We were looking at how Aristotle personally tutored Alexander the Great. That inspired us," Mathur told Reuters.

"We were like, 'Wow. How can we put that in a website so that everyone can have their own personal tutoring experience?'" said Mathur.

The coronavirus pandemic that locked down US businesses and schools starting in March gave a challenging assignment to the nation's roughly 57 million K-12 students and 20 million college students, and the educators tasked with teaching them. They had to find ways to learn everything generally taught in a classroom but remotely, typically using digital links to teachers and instructional material.

Some districts expect to offer both remote and in-person classes in the fall.

Posted in: AMERICAS

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