Future Ready Tech Challenge


+400 Points



Today’s industries are seeking creative ways of improving career readiness. They’re witnessing more students leave high school without knowing what is next, or how to navigate college or training. Many students have access to immersive tech, and industries are invested in using it to help them navigate their career. In this Challenge, you’ll address the question: 

How can high school students use cutting-edge tech (e.g., AR,VR, XR & AI) to explore and choose their best fit career and/or training path (college or technical program)?

This Challenge is open from October 2 - November 3, 2023

Future Ready Tech Challenge Banner
Lenovo Logo - Red






Time Remaining

Skills you'll develop

  • Problem Solving
  • Social Awareness
  • Communication
focus graphic


Do you now feel like an expert on the topic? It’s OK if you don’t, but you should at least have some knowledge about the issue. You can always do more research. Now it’s time to make sense of it all and think of the issue in a new way to ultimately come up with a unique idea.

By the end of the Focus phase, you should have:

  • Identified the specific problem you want to solve

  • Selected your Big Question

  • Created a User Persona of an example user

Understand the Focus Phase

⏱️Time: 1- 2 Hours (during Week 2 of Challenge)

✏️Use the optional KNOtebook to record notes and questions

💼 Mentor: Get feedback from a mentor on your Big Question

🎯 Future Ready Skills: Problem Solving

See an Example

See how these students Focused their research .

Step 1: Choose a Tool

Now that you know about the issue, It's time to organize what you learned about the issue so you can start to solve the problem. Choose one of tools below or another method of your choice to organize your research. Feel free to watch the tutorials on the tool websites.

Optional Tools

mirox (1)



Miro, miro.com, is an online collaborative whiteboard tool. It includes digital sticky notes, diagrams, icons, emojis, and more for you to work creatively with a team without being in the same room.
mural (1)



Mural, mural.com, is an online collaborative workspace used for virtual collaboration. It includes fun visual features such as sticky notes, shapes, and images.



Google's Jamboard, jamboard.google.com, is another whiteboard collaboration tool. You can write, draw, and add notes on a shared whiteboard.

Step 2: Clarify the Issue

It's time to put together all of the information you gathered in the Explore section, and identify what stands out and is important to help determine how you can address a specific aspect of the larger problem. You can use the tool that you selected above.

focus1 (1)

Identify Key Information

So, what did you learn about the problem? What made the strongest impression? What was shocking? Upsetting? Annoying?

Consider: Review your notes and and if you’re working in a group, share stories, especially if you explored different resources or if you talked to people or did your own research.

Jot: Use your brainstorming tool to write down key information that you found most interesting, shocking, surprising, or concerning–this may include quotes, facts, data, or your interpretations. You can even add photos, drawings, or words.


Cluster to Find Themes

As you look at your brainstorming, you’ll likely see common themes or topics emerge. Do you notice patterns? Repeated information? Surprises? What feels important and meaningful?

Identify: Look for patterns and relationships and group the stickies together.

Organize: Discuss, arrange, rearrange and see what’s emerging. In the end, you should have clusters around a few themes that represent opportunities.

insights (1)

Draw Insights

Select: Choose a theme or topic that you formed a cluster around that interests you. Consider or discuss the following, if you are working in a group:

  • What were you surprised to learn in this theme area?

  • What’s important in this theme?

Make Insights: Insight statements explain the most important "lightbulb moments". Write out a few insight statements.

Step 3: More Research

computer-4560227 1280

Conduct Research

Do you need to do more research to learn about the theme or user group you are most interested in addressing? If so, you may want to go back to the Explore section and review resources that you already saw, look at resources you didn't, or find additional resources.

Step 4: Create Your Big Question

Based on your insight statements, it's time to come up with one Big Question that will help you narrow down the issue and brainstorm a solution. Use the following steps to come up with a few questions before selecting one Big Question.

Help with Your Big Question

It's time to come up with your Big Question. You'll come up with a few questions and then narrow to one. This will be THE BIG QUESTION that will help you determine how you want to address the issue. Use the following steps to come up with some questions. You can use the example words below or your own. This is based on your insight statements and the specific aspect of the larger issue that you want to address.

Big Question

✏️ Student KNOtebook: Brainstorm Questions

Steps for Coming Up with Your Big Question Future Ready Tech Challenge

Step 5: Choose Your Big Question

Consider which questions allow for a variety of solutions. If they don’t, you may need to broaden them (but not too broad!). Your final Big Question should make you think of a lot of wild ideas in a brainstorm.


Your Big Question

Discuss, vote, and decide upon one question that has the most potential, based on:

  1. Which question brings up the most ideas right away?

  2. Which question makes you think about the problem in a new way?

  3. Which question is objective, (not influenced by your personal feelings or opinions)?

  4. Which question is not too broad and not too narrow?

Student KNOtebook: Select Your Big Question

Step 6: Create a User Persona

You may have decided on the group you’d like to be the focus for your solution. To help you come up with a solution, it’s useful to have a specific person or people in mind. You can create a persona for this.

A User Persona

A user persona is an imaginary person that would fit into a focus group for your idea. Personas help us to get to know these users, create awareness and a shared opinion about who our users are, their needs, life goals, characteristics, traits, gains and pains. As you come up with a solution, you’ll find that personas will be helpful throughout all aspects of the process.

KnoPro Assets (1)

Ideation Time!

It's time to brainstorm a solution to your big question!

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are ok with this. For more info, read our privacy policy