2019 Catalyst Conference Student Award Winners Announced!

We recently held our fourth annual Catalyst Conference, featuring student presentations from over 500 students representing 70+ schools in 12 countries. The conference is a global, online event for students in the GOA consortium to share projects designed to spark change in their communities. Each presentation is the culmination of a capstone project that asked students to transform learning from their courses into research-based solutions for real-world issues. This year’s conference was a huge success, drawing 2,700 visitors who left more than 1,500 comments on student projects.

We are thrilled to announce our conference award winners! To acknowledge the most compelling, effective presentations, GOA has three categories of commendations: GOA Citation, the Audience Award, and the Catalyst for Change Prize. You can find links to the students' projects below.

GOA Citation

GOA Citations are awarded by the student's teacher to exemplary presentations that best represent the goals of the conference: 1) Raising awareness, 2) Promoting grassroots action, 3) Promoting institutional change. Click here to see a list of the 78 presentations that received GOA Citations.

Audience Award

Awarded to presentations that generated the most enthusiasm and engagement from conference attendees.

The following four students captured hundreds of likes and dozens of comments for their projects:

The Catalyst for Change Prize

Awarded by a panel of experts to those projects that present the most compelling, inspiring case for change.

The Catalyst for Change Prize is the most prestigious prize at the Catalyst Conference. A panel of recruited advocacy experts and organizations reviewed and awarded the Catalyst for Change Prize to ten presentations that demonstrated exceptional thoughtfulness, planning, and potential for enduring change. Panel experts used the conference project rubric to guide their evaluation.

  • Anjali, Park Tudor School (Indiana, USA), GOA Bioethics, for "Use of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells to Cure Macular Generation." One of the panelists reviewing this presentation wrote, "I was impressed with Anjali's thorough infographics, which gave the reader a helpful baseline knowledge of this issue before delving into the bioethical issues. I also appreciated her attention to including multiple viewpoints, including a TED talk and her own viewpoint."
  • Genevieve, West Point Grey Academy (British Columbia, Canada), GOA Abnormal Psychology, for "Studying Stress: Decreasing Prevalence of Mental Illness in Youth." One panelist commented, "This is an exceptionally well crafted presentation that marries high profile media with small scale case studies. The student is to be commended for her original research and the well considered conclusions drawn from it."
  • Ina, American School in Japan (Tokyo, Japan), GOA Architecture, for "A Tokyo Counseling Center, to Face Mental Illness Fearlessly." One panelist said, "This is a very layered presentation — taking the viewer from the very personal to the very public, yet always maintaining the dignity and sensitivity the topic deserves. The well-considered layout and location for the designed site is matched only by the author's ability to articulate the need for such a facility."
  • Isabel, Head-Royce School (California, USA), Head-Royce U.S. History: Problem Solving Past and Present, for "Addicted to Skinny: The Perpetuation of Fad Diets in American Society." Panelists praised Isabel for taking on "an important topic. Isabel did a very nice job presenting information using the many tools of technology available to her. She addressed both personal and social changes which can be made to improve the culture of fad dieting."
  • Loucas, Head-Royce School (California, USA), Head-Royce U.S. History: Problem Solving Past and Present, for "Buying Products But Not Happiness." One panelist commented, "Loucas explained well the ways in which we are exposed to and fall victim to advertising on a daily basis without even being aware of it. My favorite part about this project is the way he personally challenged each of us to do something specific to see some change in our own lives. I can clearly see this project catalyzing change and starting conversations."
  • Oluwafikemi, African Leadership Academy (Roodepoort, South Africa), GOA Graphic Design, for "Practical Feminism: #WOMANENOUGH." "I was excited to see this student bringing her graphic design skills to such an important issue," one panelist said. "Great hooks and use of multimedia to get visitors thinking."
  • Sean, The Bishop's School (California, USA), GOA Gender Studies, for "One Size Fits... Some." Panelists praised "the specificity and originality of the research. The author has generated unique research that contributes to the larger question of deliberate sizing."
  • Tess, West Point Grey Academy (British Columbia, Canada), GOA Gender Studies, for "Moving Forward: Women's Safety in Public Transit." "What extraordinary depth of research and resources!" one panelist said. "Tess demonstrated a rigorous, critical approach to a global issue and found a concrete, local way to address both theories and practicalities that will long impact her friends and community members. And, she did so with humility, with a strong sense of herself and her own learning, and with an authentic passion to join a movement. A rare example of academic rigor and activist enthusiasm living together harmoniously in this project."
  • Veronica, French American International School (California, USA), GOA Abnormal Psychology, for "LGBTQ+ Teenagers with Anxiety." Panelists commended Veronica for bringing "the numbers to the forefront with both vibrancy and urgency. The calls to action were numerous but not at all onerous, the author offered something that each individual was capable of doing depending on where they find themselves in this struggle."

We are so proud of these award winners and all the students who used what they learned to explore ways to have a positive impact in their communities.

If you weren’t able to visit the conference last week, you’re still invited to peruse student presentations and filter by topic, class, school, and awards. Pages will remain available at goaconference.org for several weeks.

The Catalyst Conference is part of the GOA student experience, which brings students from around the world together in small, passion-based online classes. Click here to learn more about getting involved with GOA.

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