Student Learning Contributes to a Better World at Innovation Lab High School

ILHS Better World Day Banner with raven, globe, and text "Catalyst for change"

Students at Innovation Lab High School recently shared their ideas and celebrated learning during Better World Day, a nationwide annual event in which students showcase projects and presentations of their research and ideas that contribute to a better world. 

Projects spanned areas of environmental and civic stewardship, literacy at the elementary level, and other themes. Students worked in groups or individually to create a project that will positively shape our world, said Principal Peter Schurke. This hands-on experience is a signature of Innovation Lab High’s approach to learning, where mastery of skills and knowledge is measured, Schurke said, prepareing students for their next steps for colleges, universities, or careers. To learn more about this choice high school in Northshore, prospective students and their parents are invited to an open house on Thursday, May 12 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Innovation Lab High, 2020 224th St. SE, Bothell.

“Our students are incredibly talented and have so many ideas about how they can make a difference,” Schurke said. “Their voices matter, and through these demonstration projects, they identified and began to implement real solutions to issues that are close to them.”

Approximately 200 students contributed to 41 total projects. Student Henry Sullivan was part of a group of students interested in video gaming who decided to use their passion to raise funds for the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that provides crisis support to LGBTQ young people. As a group, they coordinated the details to broadcast a video game stream for 36 straight hours, which raised $3,540 for the Trevor Project.

“We all believe this is a cause worth raising money for,” said Sullivan. 

Sullivan shared that personally, the challenges of the project were managing schedules and adapting to changes. The effort was a true collaboration with students working with EA Sports and the District’s Technology staff, identifying a fundraising platform, and coordinating logistics.

Teacher Dr. Stacey Hutchison served as an advisor for Better World Day, and she emphasized that from a learning perspective, the collaboration and communication skills needed to organize their projects was a critical aspect.

"The topics are important, but it's more what they learned about themselves executing the project that is meaningful,” Hutchison said. 

Another project included building a pollinator-friendly garden with a mason bee house built and installed nearby. Students researched both the needs of mason bees and the native plants to include in the garden that would support the bees. One project focused on raising awareness of horse slaughter and the work done locally to protect and save horses. Using recycled materials, a different group of students designed and built a piece of artwork to feature at Innovation Lab High. Other students worked on writing and story development with younger students at Woodmoor Elementary.

Additional topics included: Building a “Little Free Art Gallery,” a Bolivia charity drive for youth, building outdoor tables, butterfly archive/transition website, children's creative writing workshop, children's literacy project, Earth Day Symposium with guest speakers, fashion/textile drive, flower planting, greenhouse project, gun violence PSA, inclusivity language petition, indoor planting, kindness club, knitting/crocheting, landscaping, Mary's Place charity drive, masks in hallways, mental health awareness, North Creek aquatic life, plastic film recycle/bench, QSTR—a service for matching volunteers with community needs, raising salmon, recycled art project, Ukraine project, and more.



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