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Change Makers Virtual Experience

The month of January marks many notable anniversaries, commemorations, and observations of the lives and work of people who have made a difference in the world. From leaders for civil justice to inventors and great thinkers, Discovery Education Streaming has the resources and strategies to inspire your instruction and your students.

Meet Students Who Are Making a Difference in the World

This on-demand virtual experience celebrates not only the lives and achievements of notable historical change makers, but also students taking action on issues from climate change and energy efficiency to giving back to their communities.

Join Discovery Education as we host a unique student panel discussion with young leaders to hear about what inspired their ideas, how they took action, and what all students can do to make a difference. As an educator, learn more about the motivations of today’s students for compelling challenge-based learning opportunities.

Student Activities

What follows are several activities you can use with your classes before, during, and after the Meet Students Who Are Changing the World student panel discussion to enrich and extend the learning experience. These activities should also help students identify what inspired panelist ideas, how they took action, and what all students can do to make a difference.

Download Activities

Featured Panelists

Amanda Gorman

Amanda is a senior at New Roads High School in Santa Monica, California. She is the first Youth Poet of Los Angeles, a United Nations Youth Delegate and 2015 ANNpower Fellow & Grantee. Amanda’s poetry collection was published last year, and she was awarded a Community Service Award by The City of Los Angeles and the California State assembly.

ANNpower Vital Voices

Maria Elena Grimmett

Maria is the youngest author in the 44-year history of the Journal of Environmental Quality, over the past six years she developed a new technique to remove sulfamethazine from contaminated water, a prominent veterinary antibiotic that pollutes surface and groundwater worldwide, using specialized tiny plastic beads that are chemically sticky, which can be reused thousands of times. Highly decorated for her research, in 2011 MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory named a minor planet “Grimmett,” which orbits between Mars and Jupiter, and the American Chemical Society gave her their Emerging Leader Award in 2014, in competition with PhD students.

Siemens Competition

Olivia Ries

Olivia along with her brother Carter started their own nonprofit organization 'One More Generation (OMG)' in 2009 to help save endangered species and clean up the environment for at least One More Generation... and beyond. Since starting OMG the two have created three divisions, Animal Conservation, Environmental Conservation, and Youth Empowerment which are all aimed at inspiring and engaging youth around the world to get involved and make a difference.

One More Generation (OMG)

Elijah Wilborn

Elijah is an eighteen year old director and screenwriter who was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. Growing up he developed a major appreciation for the Motion and Film Industry and throughout his youth he would visit sets, meet actors, and observe how films are made through collaboration and unity. That experience plus his exemplary enthusiasm for a wide range of film classics owned by his family contributed to his passion in film making. As the 2015 national winner of the Toyota TeenDrive 365 Video Challenge, he worked with a Discovery Channel film crew to create, direct, and edit his PSA to be aired on Discovery networks. Following the production of the PSA, he is now producing a short film entitled "Inanimate Sensation"; which should be completed by midsummer 2016.

Toyota TeenDrive365

Hannah Herbst

Hannah a 15 year-old from Boca Raton, Fl., won the 2015 Discovery Education and 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She is currently in 9th grade at Florida Atlantic University High School. Herbst created an energy probe prototype that seeks to offer a stable power source to developing countries by using untapped energy from ocean currents. This innovation was inspired by Hannah’s desire to help her nine-year-old pen pal living in Ethiopia who lacks a reliable source of power and electricity. Most recently, Hannah won first place and best of fair in the Palm Beach Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and has also received honors form the Office of Naval Research, Florida Science Teachers Association (FAST), the Society of Women Engineers, and more.

3M Young Scientist Challenge

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