6. Midterm - Grand Challenges

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Mother with son in the DRC

MIDTERM - a research assignment, discussion, MidTerm quiz

Learning outcomes

  • learn about the current challenges to benefit humanity now and in the future
  • consider the impact of technology on reaching global challenges
  • research progress made to date
  • discuss work currently underway around the world


  • global, society, development, non-government organization (NGO), goals, humanitarian, equity, access

Study notes

  • Who is identifying the most important problems that need to be solved?
  • How are challenges set? How is progress measured?
  • Are the goals being met?
  • How are technologies - specifically computers and the internet contributing to meeting the challenges?
  • How can you help?

MidTerm - Grand Challenges

Computers and the internet impact social issues that are important to countries with cities, internet access, stable governments, courts of law, regulations, good healthcare and education systems. However, there are large populations throughout the world that do not share these benefits.

Since 1994, XPRIZE has designed and launched multi-million dollar prizes in the domain areas of Space, Oceans, Learning, Health, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Safety and Robotics. The XPRIZE challenge focus areas bring attention to the problems that face the world's population now and in the future, and direct resources and innovation to resolving them. The background information about each XPRIZE challenge focus area is provided.

  1. For the MidTerm project, learn about and report on how computers, the internet and technology are being used to provide solutions for ONE of these XPRIZE challenge focus areas. You will be sharing your information in our Canvas course discussions.
    Review the Grand Challenges listed in the Media section below. Look through the detailed descriptions for the challenges.
    * Pick one of the Grand Challenges that interests you to research and report on for for your project topic.
    * Indicate your pick in the Grand Challenges discussion for your choice.

  2. Project - Create a Google doc for sharing your research and resources. What is the current status of work on the Challenge you selected? How will technology help meet the Challenge that you investigated? What worked? Why was it successful? Research the topic to find answers to these questions. Then suggest ideas for resolving these problems. Cite at least three (3) resources that describe the work of groups trying to solve the Challenges you selected using technology. Be sure to include specific examples.
  3. Publish a link to your "public" Google doc with the links to your research resources, along with a brief description of the impact this work has in solving the Challenge and your ideas to solve the problem with technology for your selected resources to the corresponding Grand Challenge discussion topic.
  4. Submit the same information as Assignment MidTerm - Grand Challenge.

  5. Participate in the discussion topics for each of the Grand Challenges. Review the actual project description and resources in the Grand Challenge discussions. Ask questions. Provide additional sources of information. Learn more about each of the challenges, why they are important and what is being done about each that showcases the use of technology.

  6. Grand Challenges for Engineering discussion - There are many OTHER challenges and technologies to provide solutions. Grand Challenges for Engineering identifies some important ones. What are some that interest you? Is it the problem or the technology possibilities? Does the technology exist to address these challenges? Application? Scalability? Sustainability? What is the hold-up? Find 2-3 resources that address other concerns not already covered by the Challenge projects. Post links and a question about each to the discussion.

  7. Project Groups Discussions - Your score will be based on your participation and contributions to the group. Do let me know if you get stuck and need clarification on how these groups should function. Every one is different. That’s part of the learning experience. Check your participation in your Project Groups Discussions. If you have been participating, great. You can go back to previous activities and contribute if you have missed some.

  8. Questionable benefits - For the Challenge that you researched, what questions do you have about the benefits to mankind that technology has brought (and can bring) to the world? What problems might be caused by technology? Ask 2-3 questions and describe why you think we should be wondering about the answers to these questions now? How would you find answers? Suggest ways to answer these questions. Submit this as your I wonder... assignment.

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Editing Help pages and tutorials for Wikis

Grand Challenges

These are a few examples. For the Grand Challenges Mid Term project, you have to find your own resources.

Applying Human-Centered Design to Refugee Challenges in Dadaab, Kenya | International Development Innovation Network
" Catherine Rakama recently began working with refugees in the largest camp in the world, Dadaab in Garissa County, Kenya, to build refugees’ skills in coding, app development, and human-cen...
The US reaffirms its commitment to ensure girls across Afghanistan have access to the knowledge and skills they need to build a better future for themselves , their families, their communities and...
Empower the Girl Child. Give Water.
clean water. As a first world country we always put enough thought into the topic. In third world counties, this is an everyday problem which we as a society should help put efforts into fixing....
Home | Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik
breakthroughs are going on at the Max-Planck Institutes, located all over Germany. It also explains why we need to pursue fusion energy if we are to sustain a growing population.

2016.6 594 . 2018.6 2196