What started as a senior thesis has led Rachel Thor to travel across the country, exploring and documenting innovative education practices.
Called Educate 20/20, Thor (senior-philosophy) and her team were announced the winners of the Marriot Hotels & Resorts and GOOD’s “Live, Work and Play in L.A.” contest Monday.
The contest will allow Educate 20/20 the opportunity to spend a week at GOOD Headquarters in Los Angeles. During the team’s time there, its members will have “the ability to collaborate with marketing, creative, development and design teams to bring their idea to life,” Jay Ku, head of corporate partnerships at GOOD, said via email.
Educate 20/20 was selected by a panel of judges, along with nine other contenders, based on originality and creativity of their idea. Voting then opened to the public for a week to choose the winner, Ku said.
Educate 20/20 is a road tour that will span the month of February. A team of eight core travelers left on Wednesday, and will be driving a RV across the country to connect with innovators in education, Thor said. She added that along the way, other team members will join for short periods of the road tour.
The main purpose of the road tour is to create a documentary to share the experiences they have with education innovators, she said. There will be a two-member film crew along for the duration of Educate 20/20.
When the tour reaches the West Coast, they will show a trailer of the documentary at the 2013 AshokaU Exchange in San Diego, Thor said.
Another part of Educate 20/20 is figuring out how to spread the message and how to have people replicate these new, interesting takes on education.
“A lot of change in education is at a grassroots level,” Thor said. “[We want to figure out] how can we provide the next step for people.”
Thor said that on a logistical side, the New Leaf Initiative, a nonprofit organization in downtown State College, is a significant sponsor.
“At New Leaf, our goal is to help people take the first step to make positive, radical change in the world. From the beginning, we have been excited about the potential this trip has to completely redefine the future of education,” Spud Marshall, Educate 20/20 team member and director of the New Leaf Initiative, said via email.
Follow along with the Educate 20/20 at educate2020.com/follow/.