Students learn the ins and outs of design thinking at Bridge Innovate. (Photo: Kelly Lacy)

The Hunter Museum of American Art is hosting 17 public and private schools for an upcoming student design competition.

Bright Spark’s High School of the Future student design competition is slated for March 29.

Students from the tristate area have been tasked with designing the high school of the future and rethink how STEM education is delivered through play, with emphasis on life and career readiness.

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“Bright Spark, Bridge Innovate’s social innovation, exists to ignite creative confidence in students and educators using design thinking, and the student design competition furthers this end,” Bright Spark competition manager Sharon Turner said in a prepared statement.

This yearlong competition is sponsored by Bridge Innovative, the Footprint Foundation, Shaw Industries, GreenSpaces, ExperiencePoint and Thrive 2055.

Bridge Innovate CEO and founder of Bright Spark Jenny Whitener said the finale is a culmination of a year’s worth of hard work from students and teachers.

“Equipping our children to thrive in the creative economy is essential,” Whitener said. “Bright Spark simply provides the design thinking methodology and forum for students to build and stretch their creative muscles.”

Chattanooga business and community leaders will judge the finale.

Public Education Foundation senior adviser Edna Varnersaid she is excited to see the creative projects students will showcase.

“This competition has felt more collaborative than competitive,” Varner said in a prepared statement. “Students come with no limits in their thinking, and they use the process to champion their priorities-inclusiveness, responsiveness, adaptability and their boldest ideas for both play and purpose.”

The competition is in its second year, and enrollment has grown from five to 17 participants.

The finale showcase and judging will take place from 4 to 6 p.m.

For background on the competition and to learn more about Bright Spark, click here and here.

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