ITC Students Tackle Community Concerns through ‘Problem Busters’
Published on 10/27/16
See a problem in Syracuse? Who are you going to call? P-Tech students at ITC are hoping you’ll call them – the Problem Busters!
Throughout the school year, tenth grade engineering students will be presented with a series of projects, in which they will take a real life problem in their community and innovate ways to solve it, presenting their ideas to an authentic audience of stakeholders.
Their first task? At the suggestion of SCSD Board of Education Commissioner Patricia Body, students innovated ways to help solve the litter problem in Syracuse.
“A lot of people don’t get excited about these things anymore,” sophomore Anita Khamtan explained as she showed a prototype trash-collecting robot that her group designed. “But kids get excited about robots. So if we can have kids walk around the city with these robots, they will also be helping the litter problem!”
Another group took a more traditional approach.
“We want to have a trash parade,” Christopher Sheridan said. “It’s practical and realistic. We would
get as many people as possible to come together and walk through the city, picking up trash.”
“Financially, it’s possible, because it doesn’t cost a lot,” teammate Mastajah Snow added. “And
anyone can do it, as long as you’re willing to take the time to help.”
Moving forward, students will brainstorm other issues that they believe should be tackled in Syracuse and work together to come up with solutions for those issues as well. ITC P-Tech Program Coordinator Nick Lisi, who suggested the Problem Busters concept, insists that these projects will ultimately help students as they move into college and careers.
“This is really an opportunity for them to have an impact on issues in their community,” he said. “There is a chance someone will like one of their ideas and make it come to life! Plus, our business partners have told us time and time again that the most important skills they look for in an employee are communication skills, ability to work in teams, problem solving skills, and the ability to critically think.”
Great job to the Problem Busters on their first assignment – we look forward to seeing more of your innovative ideas as you move forward!