By Mr. Andrew Bendl, Head of Social Studies; Global Online Academy Site Director
Global Online Academy’s Catalyst Conference, which took place April 26–29, is one of the largest online conferences for and by students. The Catalyst Conference presents hundreds of student multimedia projects designed to spark change in local communities. These interactive projects are the culmination of weeks of work in Global Online Academy and on-campus classes. Conference attendees are invited to learn, interact and share stories with student presenters.
Seven WPGA students participated in this year’s conference, and Peggy Li ’18 won the Catalyst for Change Award, the conference’s most prestigious prize. A panel of advocacy experts and organizations award the Catalyst for Change prize to presentations that demonstrate exceptional thoughtfulness, planning, and potential for enduring change. Award recipients have the opportunity to consult with a panel expert in their field of social change for guidance on how to further their project or build on a new idea their presentation sparked.
Peggy’s project examined the disproportionate number of women working in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math) and asked how we can educate others on the causes and solutions for this gender imbalance as well as women’s unequal treatment within the field.
Additionally, Vivian Zhang ’19 received a GOA Citation. Citations are awarded to exemplary presentations that GOA and member schools determine best represent the goals of the conference, which are to raise awareness and to promote grassroots action and institutional change.