Glocal Challenge

Glocal Cover Photo

What is the Glocal Challenge?

The Glocal Challenge is a contest-based program facilitated by EF Education First, the City of Cambridge, and the Cambridge Public Schools to help high school students learn critical 21st Century Skills, gain global competence and receive real-world experience in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Each year, we ask Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students to solve a challenge locally in Cambridge that has global implications. Through the Glocal Challenge, CRLS students will be placed in teams of 3-5 students, spend 8 weeks learning about transportation issues globally and locally, invent a creative idea to solve the challenge in Cambridge, and then pitch their idea to expert judges. The winning student teams will receive a trip abroad for the EF Global Student Leaders Summit, as well as seed funding from the City of Cambridge to kick-start their projects, and paid summer internships with the City. Additionally, all participants earn 10 community service hours.




This year's prompt: How can we improve sustainable transportation in Cambridge by 2020?

Glocal Challenge Finals & Student Exhibition were held on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. 

Glocal 2018 JudgesGlocal 2018 Crowd

Glocal Winning Teams

  • Ezra Rudel, Max Katz-Christy, Jessica Paul & Miles Taylor: Live Bus plans to make it easier and more convenient to take transit by mounting real-time transit displays in local business windows facing bus stops.
  • Simon Simpson, Lamisa Jahan, Yousuf Syed, Jeftaline Gay, Alex Henriquez, Rakeyah Ahsan & Sajid Ahsan: Transportation Transformers aims to dramatically increase bike usage among students at CRLS by partnering with the City to promote and offer discounted Hubway memberships for students.
  • Aviva Gould, Nick  Howe, Sneha KC, Annie MacBeth & Juliana Vandermark: Cam Tran will create an app that will populate user data and produce the safest bike routes around Cambridge.
  • Ginely Baltodano, Pia Costello & Hayley Swope: Wheeled Empowerment plans to make the Red Line more accessible to people with disabilities by placing convertible seating that will fold up and provide locking mechanisms to hold wheelchairs in place.
  • Anaka Landrigan, Olivia Marinou-Iatridou, Cindya Gao & Andy Naranjo: Team TV would like to install interactive touch screens at bus stops to show where on the route the bus is in real time, as well as a map of the entire route and the routes of the buses that also go through that stop.

Glocal 2018 Live BusGlocal 2018 Transportation Transformers

Glocal 2018 Cam TranGlocal 2018 Wheeled EmpowermentGlocal 2018 Transportation Visuals

Glocal Honorable Mentions

  • Maryam Dar, Rachel Gerhard, Emma Dhanda, Danny (Nell) Hilton, Ning-er Lei & Labeeb Alam: Connect Cambridge proposes to create a bus/bike only lane during rush hour traffic. This team will work with various City departments to determine feasibility.
  • Pilli Cruz-De Jesus, Mark Leroux-Parra, Raul Madera-Torres & Marilyn Attles: The 1 4 U wants to make Mass Ave. safer for bicyclists. This team will work with various City departments to determine feasibility and gather community feedback.
  • Jakob Christensen, Gabriel Payan, Mohammed Kabir, Jim Louisaire, Jai Rajput & Vanessa Marques: 2 Lanes aims to make biking safer in the city of Cambridge by creating a bike lane on Broadway. This team will work with City departments to determine feasibility and gather community feedback.

Glocal in the News & Social Media

Scout Cambridge: "Meet the Students Who Are Shaping the Future of Transportation in Cambridge"

Cambridge Chronicle: "Cambridge Students Pitch Innovations"

The Cambridge Life blog: "CRLS Students Work to Solve Local Challenges that have Global Implications" 

See what other people are saying about Glocal 2017-18 on social media here and here


Follow the teams' progress on the Glocal Challenge Facebook page and check back here later as well to find out more.

Glocal Challenge 2017-2018 

Now that the Glocal Challenge Finals are over, the winning and the honorable mention teams are preparing for their summer internship with the city through the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program.

Check back later for more detailed schedule.

Glocal Challenge 2016-2017

The challenge for 2016-2017 program was: “How can we reduce food waste in the Cambridge community?”  Through the Glocal Challenge, CRLS students were placed in teams of 3-5 students, spent 8 weeks learning about issues of food waste and food security globally and locally, invented a creative idea to reduce food waste in Cambridge, and then pitched their idea to expert judges. The top three winning student teams received a trip to Italy for the EF Global Student Leaders Summit and the top five teams received seed funding from the City of Cambridge to kick-start their projects during their paid summer internships with the City. Additionally, all participants earned 10 community service hours.  

So in summer 2017, the five teams got to intern with the City of Cambridge Community Development Department and implement parts of their projects with the seed money they won. The summer internship for the winning teams started on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017. You can read on below for more information about what each of the teams did!

Door_knockingTablingDeer_Island

The Biodiesel Team

During the summer, the biodiesel team conducted several outreaches to the local restaurants in the City, surveying them and providing more information about what to do with used cooking oil.

The Anaerobic Digester Team

The digester team researched and compared the economics, greenhouse gas emissions, and educational benefits of various food waste reduction and food repurposing methods for the City, including installing an anaerobic digester. The team then presented their research to the City. You can find their final report here.

The Expiration Dates Team

The expiration team created and distributed informational materials about expiration dates and saving money spent on wasted food at various outreaches. You can find their brochure here and also find more information on the lifespan of different kinds of food on eatbydate.com

The Compost Stickers Program Team

The Sticker team ran a sticker competition pilot program to increase citizen composting participation in the Curbside Compost Pilot and participated in door-to-door awareness outreach about composting. You can find their final reports here and here

The Waste Reduction Kit Team

The waste reduction kit team put together and distributed 200 units of food waste reducing kit to lower and middle-income households in person. The kit included items to help keep food fresh for longer as well as other educational materials for reducing food waste and increasing composting. Their final report can be found here

Glocal_Outreach




Glocal Challenge 2015-2016

The challenge for 2016-2017 program was to focus on energy use in Cambridge as part of the City's effort to win the $5 million Georgetown University Energy Prize. Between October and December of 2015, in teams of 3-5, students learned about energy use globally and locally, developed a creative plan to reduce energy in Cambridge, and then pitched their idea to expert judges. The top two winning student teams received a trip to Iceland for the EF Global Student Leaders Summit in March, and the top five teams received seed funding from the City of Cambridge to kick-start their projects during their paid summer internships with the City. Additionally, all participants earned 10 community service hours.  

Glocal_2016_studentsPower Saviors Winning

Power Saviors

The Power Saviors are a group of young, dedicated high school students who won the Glocal Challenge competition at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) in 2016. The Glocal Challenge is an 8-week competition hosted by CRLS, EF Education First, and the City of Cambridge to propose solutions to global challenges with local implications. In 2016, the challenge was to decrease energy use in our community by 2017 in order for Cambridge to win the Georgetown University Energy Prize. As winners of the popular vote, the Power Saviors worked with the Community Development Department to research the most effective locations for installing kinetic energy tiles in Cambridge. Kinetic energy tiles are tiles that generate energy after there is pressure applied to them (footsteps, bicycle wheels, cars, etc). The energy is then stored in a battery and can be used to power lights, appliances, or other utilities.

According to team members Nitant Rimal and Hassan Gudal, both CRLS Juniors: “We knew that some parts of Cambridge were heavily populated with tourists, students, etc. We decided to take advantage of this, and decided to propose kinetic energy tiles.”

In the summer, the students collected data by counting the amount of people who walk, skate, bike, or drive through Harvard Square, Kendall Square, Inman Square, and Porter Square. From the data that was gathered, it was determined that the best places to put the tiles were Harvard Square and Kendall Square. For example, in front of one restaurant in Harvard Square there was an average of 1,500 footsteps per hour. Each footstep generates about 4 watts, which is an average of 6,000 watts per hour. For context, it takes 10-20 watts to power a tablet for an hour.  In addition to the energy produced, the Power Saviors feel that the tiles are a great educational and awareness-building resource for Cambridge.

Team members Hayley Swope, Maroua Oudani, and Ginely Baltodano have been strong advocates for the project for the past year. “After winning the Glocal Challenge, the next step was to try to get funding through the City via Participatory Budgeting. We submitted our idea, and worked hard to get as many votes as possible. We went room to room in the school classrooms to gather many votes!”

The Power Saviors submitted their kinetic energy tile proposal to Participatory Budgeting over the summer.  And guess what? They won! The students were able to successfully advocate for $50,000 to be allocated for purchasing and installing energy-producing tiles during the next fiscal year.


You can find the original article here.


Kinetic Energy Floor

For more information about the Glocal Challenge and how to be involved as mentors or experts, contact Jennifer Lawrence at jlawrence@cambridgema.gov.