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This fall, three sections of the lab are implementing a total of 16 team-based projects, all addressing our Big Questions, topics ranging from mitigating social disparities to promoting sustainable environmental behavior. Several teams have plans to address concerns directly related to the pandemic and are focusing their efforts on projects such as Fostering Wellness, Connecting People, and Addressing Disparities during COVID. The achievements and of each participant in the lab are significant and a testament to the acts of leadership playing out on campus and throughout the world. Each team just completed stakeholder interviews and presented their project for peer feedback. Here are their midpoint abstracts,
The Community Garden is an initiative that strives to provide easier access to affordable and healthy food options for U-M students while also building a closer, cooperative community on campus. They hope that they can ease a financial burden during these trying times.
Engaging Elementary & High School Students with STEM
A project to help bridge the gap in STEM education by engaging economically disadvantaged elementary students who are interested in learning more about STEM. The project will offer virtual events that will include science experiments, brain jogging activities, and Q&A’s about all things STEM.
College: Funding and Timeline
This team is researching topics related to the college admission process and providing information on where there are gaps then designing info-graphics to distribute to schools in the team members' hometowns. The three main topics they will be focusing on will be general funding and scholarships, scholarships at U-M, and time-lines for the college process.
Donation Drive is an initiative that strives to give the local homeless community necessities such as winter clothing, PPE, and hygiene products. With an estimated 273 homeless people in Washtenaw County and a global pandemic, this particular subset of the population is exceptionally vulnerable. The Donation Drive will be looking for student donations to donate to local charities.
Utilizing Tech for Social Good
This team’s goal is to create an app that connects U-M students that may be feeling lonely and isolated during the pandemic. The platform’s goal is to foster connections by allowing students to engage with other students while providing a more fun and relaxed alternative to current platforms. The app will include chat and video features as well as entertainment watch rooms and game rooms.
Games for Gains
Games for Gains is an app that will explore mental health through technology for U-M students. Their goal is to offer stress relief and relaxing techniques through games in a relaxed environment. The app will focus on what the users enjoy and include help topics and resources.
Fundraiser for Homelessness
This team is focusing on raising money for non-profit organizations and decreasing negative biases around the homeless population by educating U-M students on the barriers that the homeless experience. They plan to donate the proceeds from their fundraising campaign to the Shelter Association of Washtenaw, Alpha House, and Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor.
Fostering Wellness’s goal is to foster community and positively impact student mental health and wellness through the development of a website that uses shared interests in the arts and in learning artistic hobbies to cultivate relationships. They will offer safe social engagement and explore creative interests such as theatrics, handiwork, 2-D art, 3-D art, media, and movement.
COVID Connection Event
The Covid Connection Event is a virtual event open to all students to discuss mental health. The event will include a mental well-being discussion led by a student-facilitator and provide an overview of the resources available at U-M. There will be small group discussions about mindfulness, a wellness workout activity, a discussion about ways to promote physical well-being from home, and exploring the connection between physical health and mental health.
COVID-19 Weekly News Blast
This team will launch a weekly newsletter that promotes positive mental health with COVID-19 safe activities. They will provide inspiring ideas that motivate students to prioritize mental health.
Future Generation of Civic Leaders
Future Generation of Civic Leaders is exploring student civic engagement and media literacy through research and interviews with the goal of developing a course for young students to expand the understanding of and their role in politics and media in the United States.
This team is planning to create a seminar on sustainability in the household for Ann Arbor residents and U-M students. They would like to host local government organizations, energy companies, and organizations/professors on the panel and record their event for maximum reach.
Direct Link for UMich Hopefuls
This team is focusing on setting up an email for potential U-M students to contact current students to talk about their experience and the college admissions process. They hope to grow their Instagram as a way to market their idea so that more people can get a realistic idea of what U-M is like and receive the information and resources needed to be successful.
The Ezili Project
Empower, embrace, and encourage. Ezili's mission is to provide hygienic and beauty products to womxn and non-binary individuals in local homeless shelters. Popular media negatively depicts homeless people negatively, and the Ezili Project strives to break the stereotypes commonly used to promote homeless shelters and instead perpetuate narratives of dignity, empowerment, and humanity.
Their goal is to create an app that connects students who are undergoing shared experiences. The tinder-style app will create local matches. Some features include a chat room, smaller communities, and events.
Sustainability for Puppies
This team will host a can drive and donate the proceeds to local animal shelters.
We are excited to see how the semester ends for these passion projects!