How to Inspire the Next World Changers

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” – Rita Pierson

Young people worldwide are already leading movements and causes to end hunger, find solutions for climate change, and tackle other world problems. They are using social media and technology to spread the word and gather momentum. However, these movements are mostly outside of school. To inspire students to be the next world changers means we need to allow them at least one project or opportunity to change the world in our classes. This could be a global collaboration project, tackling one of the global goals, joining a challenge or contest, or a problem-based project. This way students will be given the opportunity to tackle world issues with their ideas and innovation and their teachers can facilitate that journey. This was the topic of my recent 10 minute keynote for the ELT Day for Puerto Rico conference, entitled, How to Inspire the Next World Changers.  Find the slides and resources below. Don’t forget to donate here to help those who recently lost their homes in Puerto Rico.

Tips and Resources!

Changing the world isn’t easy! How do we equip students for the journey?

  • Champion student ideas
  • Involve students in the process of innovation
  • Give them opportunities to solve problems they care about
  • Spend time investigating problems
  • Get them brainstorming with design challenges
  • Teach resilience
  • Connect them with role models, guest experts and mentors
  • Include student voice and choice
  • Facilitate the documentation of ideas and innovations (digital portfolios, research
  • ogs and journaling)
  • Participate in global collaboration projects like the Global Goals!

Where to find activities, projects and lessons:

  • The Science Demo Guy’s website has free STEM and Engineering Design Process posters and experiments to download and print
  • NASA has amazing resources for educators, including free projects, lesson plans, videos, and interactives! Students can join the competitions for free when you set up a free Future Engineers account for them. 
  • Sign up for a free Mystery Science membership and receive access to tons of awesome standard aligned lesson plans and projects. 
  • Find STEM resources and projects with Google templates free to edit and use from the school I teach at here.

Social Emotional Learning

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Shelly Terrell is a Technology and Computer teacher, education consultant, and author of books including Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom. Read more at

Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at