Challenge Yourself. Change the World. (...And win big, while you're at it)

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With KnoPro, students solve real-world problems they care about (in teams or solo!); build in-demand skills for resumes or college applications; AND earn points that convert to prizes and cash.
WatchTheVideoChangeYourLife

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EVERY student deserves access to work-based learning experiences.

Learn more about the mission of KnoPro and NAF, the leader in work-based learning and career readiness for over 120,000 high school students in the United States.

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Overview

Watch a video about the Health Equity Challenge.

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Student KNOtebook

Throughout the Challenge, you may use a Student KNOtebook to keep track of your research, thoughts, and ideas. This is optional and will not be submitted with your final deliverable. To get started, make a copy of the Student KNOtebook (also available as a PDF)Feel free to personalize your KNOtebook as well as add or duplicate slides if you need more space.


Dr. Luther Clark , Executive Director of Global and Scientific Affairs, Merck: "We're really excited to have you join us and tackle this problem."

Dr. Adrelia Allen , Senior Director of Clinical Trial Patient Diversity, Merck: "Increasing diversity in clinical trials is very important because of safety...and access."

Conrod Kelly , Managing Director, MSD Chile: "This is such an important topic...Think outside the box about what you can do to make a difference for our industry."

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Let's Get Started! Go to EXPLORE.

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Explore

In the Explore phase, you'll learn about clinical trials: what they are, why they are important, and how they effect people. You do not need to watch or read every article, but by the end of the phase, you should be able to:

  • Explain what clinical trials are and why are they important

  • Demonstrate, with data, the lack of diversity in clinical trial participation

  • Discuss the impact of the lack of diversity

  • Identify examples of how the issue is currently being addressed

⏱️Time: 2- 4 Hours (Week 1 of the Challenge)

✏️Use the optional KNOtebook to record notes and questions

💼Mentor: Ask a mentor questions about the topic

🎯Future-Ready Skills: Social Awareness, Initiative and Self-Direction

Build Background Knowledge

So, what exactly is medical research? What's the history of it? Why is it important? In this section, you develop an understanding of the topic.

Student KNOtebook

Student KNOtebook: Medical Research KWL

Before digging into the problem, start a KWL (Know-Wonder-Learn) chart. Add to the chart as you acquire background on the topic.

What do you already know about medical research? What do you want to know? What did you learn in the Explore section?  Continue to add to the chart as explore the Challenge. You'll use this info later when you are building your draft marketing, product or business idea and pitch video!


Understand Health Research

Review two or three of the videos to start to build your expertise. As you watch the videos, jot down interesting facts, numbers, statistics, quotes, dates, and other important or surprising information. Remember, you are building your background knowledge.

Understand the purpose of clinical trials and how they work (2:21)

Explore the phases of clinical trials (1:48)

Listen to one woman's story (0:57)

Watch a TikTok about clinical trials to deepen your knowledge and learn more about the different phases (see Phases of a Clinical Trial).

Identify the Problem

Now that you have some background, it’s time to dig into the issue.

Diversity in Clinical Trials

“Research has a diversity problem. Many groups are underrepresented in research including women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and socially disadvantaged populations. Attention to the issue is growing, and some institutions and scientific communities are actively seeking to increase diversity. But far more needs to be done.”

~Achieving Diversity in Research



Iceberg

Iceberg Analogy

The iceberg is an analogy that depicts the many layers of the patient community, both visible and hidden. The "tip of the iceberg" are patients who are likely to join clinical trials, however, most patients are below the waterline. Consider the following as you view the framework:

  • Why are some populations more submerged than others?

  • What happens when people are part of more than one group?

  • How can medical research be more inclusive and create opportunities to reach all populations that are currently submerged?

Read the article: Lung Cancer Health Care Delivery, Community Building, and Research: Are They Truly Inclusive?

Get to Know the Issue

Understand the importance of diversity in clinical research (2:53)

Check out COVID 19 trials in July 2020 (3:09)

Hear from doctors (3:31)

Hear from a Professional



See the Impact

Consider how different groups of people are impacted by lower participation in clinical research. Choose one to two groups below to learn more.

See the Impact 2

Racial and Ethnic Minorities

As you have seen, racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in clinical trials. Also, in Phase 1 of clinical trials, healthy participants are most likely low income, Black, or Hispanic. This is the most dangerous phase of the clinical trial process.

Learn More:

People with Disabilities

People with disabilities are often excluded from participating in clinical trials. The National Institute of Aging estimates that 50% of people with Down syndrome will develop Alzheimer's as they age. However, a recent federal proposal (2022) regarding a new class of treatment for Alzheimer's disease, specifically excludes people with Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities from participating in the clinical trials.

Learn More:

Clinical Trials and the Exclusion of People with Disabilities.

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Lower Income

According to a study, lower-income people newly diagnosed with cancer were less likely to participate in clinical trials. After adjusting for age, sex, race, education level, travel distance, and stage of disease, the researchers found that people with an annual household income below $50,000 were 32% less likely to participate in the clinical trial than people with higher annual incomes.

Learn More:

People With Lower Incomes Less Likely to Participate in Clinical Trials


Elderly

Older adults are often excluded from clinical trials. An ongoing study by a Harvard Medical School professor examines ageism in clinical research and shows that around 15% of clinical trials for COVID-19 systematically excluded adults between 65-80 years-old. If vaccines are only tested on a younger population, there's a risk it may not work with older adults, who often have a higher risk of disease.

Learn more:

Older adults excluded and underrepresented

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Children

Children differ from adults, developmentally and physically, and because of this, clinical trials specifically for children are essential. Clinical trials in children are critical to developing age-specific, effective, and safe therapies and interventions. However, children are generally the last group to be tested.

Learn More:

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First-Hand Trial Experiences

Hear from people who have participated in clinical trials.



Hear about a teenager's experience (5:19)

Hear about barriers for minority participation in clinical trials (3:21)

Hear about the importance of African-American men's participation in clinical trials (3:38)

Hear from a Spanish-speaking woman about her experiences (3:10)

Explore Example Solutions

Remember, you're coming up with your own solution to this big problem. Take a look at a few ways others have addressed the issue of lack of representation in clinical trials.

Steps to Increase Diversity in Clinical Trials

On April 13, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new draft guidance to the medical industry for developing plans to enroll more participants from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the U.S. into clinical trials.


Read the news release:

FDA Takes Important Steps to Increase Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Clinical Trials

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See examples of how the issue has been addressed by opening a "business", running a campaign, and creating a product,

Watch a creative business/organization approach to building awareness (3:10)

See an example campaign (1:17)

Explore an app (product) for clinical trial participants: https://bit.ly/3CFOOlu

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Focus

Feeling like an expert yet? No worries if not, but you should have a good grasp on this matter. If not, keep on exploring! Let's now piece together all the info and give it a fresh spin to create something truly unique.

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

Watch the video to see how some students focused their research.

Step 1: Choose a Tool

Now that you're up to speed on the problem, let's get down to business and organize what you've learned. Take your pick from the awesome tools below or use your own approach to sort through the research. If you're unfamiliar with the tools, you may want to watch the tutorials on the tool websites! Flip the cards to learn about each tool.

Optional Tools

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Miro

Miro

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.
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Mural

Mural

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

Jamboard

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 roll up your sleeves and piece together all the juicy findings you uncovered in the Explore section, highlighting the key bits that will help solve a specific angle of the larger issue. Whip out your handy tool of choice and let's get crackin'! Select each tab to learn how.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

Get ready to come up with a Big Question based on your research to narrow the issue.

Help with Your Big Question

It's time to develop your Big Question! Start by creating a list of questions, then narrow it down to one. This will be the question that guides you in addressing the issue at hand. Follow these steps to create your list of questions, based on your insight statements and the specific aspect of the larger issue that you want to tackle. Select each starter to see examples.

Big Question

Steps for Coming Up with Your Big Question

✏️ Student KNOtebook: Brainstorm Questions

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.

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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.

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KnoProProcess Imagine

Imagine

Now, it’s time to answer your question from the Focus phase. In this phase, you’ll generate tons of ideas and choose one to pursue. Get creative and embrace wild ideas!

Solution Categories

The solution that you ultimately choose will fall into ONE of three categories. You may want to keep this in mind during your brainstorm! You'll be choosing ONE of the categories. Flip each card to review your choices.

The solution that you ultimately choose will fall into one of three categories. You may want to keep this in mind during your brainstorm!

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Product Design

Product Design

Create a concept for a new or improved product. Perhaps an app? A game? An everyday item?

Check out examples of product design

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Business Concept

Business Concept

Do you have an idea for a new business, organization, or service to address the problem you identified? Maybe a youth-run non-profit? A storefront business? A mobile service? An online venture?

Check out the examples of business concept

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Marketing Campaign

Marketing Campaign

Reach a lot of people and raise public awareness through a marketing effort, using media, messaging, or an event to target specific people.

examples of marketing campaign

What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming is an effective way to produce a lot of ideas quickly, to solve problems, and to build enthusiasm! Select from the videos to get tips and see brainstorming in action. No need to watch all of the videos.

Brainstorming Techniques (2:05)

Example brainstorming process (1:57)

Brainstorming Strategies (5:31)

Brainstorming Rules

Keep these guidelines in mind when brainstorming. Feel free to add your own or adjust.

Your Turn!

Watch an example of a Kno Pro brainstorming session. The following brainstorming process is a suggested method. When you brainstorm, TAKE YOUR TIME! It could be a multiday process so you can have time to think.

Starbursting

You can use the Starbursting technique to help you dig deeper into your potential solutions. Here's an example from a backpack campaign.

Getting Feedback

Consider using any of the following methods to structure and organize your feedback-gathering process.

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Mentor Moment: Get Feedback!

Don't forget that you can get feedback from a professional. You may be excited about all of your ideas, but it’s important not to get too attached to them since your ideas will grow and change. 

Ask a mentor what they think of your three ideas. For each idea, write a one-sentence “pitch”: what it is, who it will serve, and why it’s a good idea. Then, wait for feedback from a mentor.

Evaluate Your Ideas

Once you’ve reviewed the feedback from a mentor, consider if you want to combine or revise any of the ideas. Use any of the following methods to help you choose one idea. Select each of the first two images to watch a video.

SWOT Analysis

Use a SWOT analysis to help you decide which idea to pursue. A SWOT analysis is a technique for assessing your ideas to help you improve or change your ideas before making a final decision.

Select Your Idea

Now, It’s time to choose one of your ideas to prototype! Discuss, vote, and choose one idea to pursue. You may want to use one or more of the suggestions below. Select each plus sign to learn about these techniques.

Ready to create your concept? Continue to the CREATE phase.

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Imagine

Now, it’s time to answer your Big Question from the Focus phase. In this phase, you’ll generate tons of ideas and choose one to pursue. Then, you'll create your idea. Get creative and embrace wild ideas!

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

  • Brainstormed a lot of ideas for a solution

  • Identified your solution and be able to explain why you chose this solution

  • Designated the category that your solution fits into: product design, business concept, or marketing campaign

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Pitch

You’ve done it! You've created your solution, gotten feedback, iterated, and are ready to impress the world. You're almost done! In this step, you'll prepare your 3-5 minute video that showcases your idea. Be sure to review the Final Pitch Score Sheet and:

  • Plan (storyboard) your video

  • Practice before recording

  • Record using Zoom, Canva, Screencastify, YouTube, or any tool of your choice

  • Share with the judges

Step 1: See Examples & Get Ideas

A “Pitch” is telling a story in a way that others can grasp. Good pitches have some commonalities. See some examples.

Pitch Characteristics

Select each tab to watch the videos to get ideas about the characteristics of a pitch. And, remember, it’s not about how the pitch looks, it’s about what it says!
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A Hook

A hook is something that grabs the viewer’s attention right away. It should inspire the viewers’ curiosity and their desire to continue watching the video. This could be a story, words on the screen, images, etc.

See how the Micro Drone 2.0 video uses a hook.

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What? Who? Why? How?

A pitch video includes (may not be in this order):

  1. What it is: A clear explanation of the product, service, business, campaign

  2. Who: Who are the users, audience, etc.

  3. Why: Why did they create this? What are the benefits?

  4. How: How does it work and how do the features support the benefit?

See how the Smart Thermometer video addresses the What, Who, Why, and How of the product.

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A Story

Stories get people excited and motivated, by touching people’s emotions and helping them to start seeing and believing what you want them to. If you tell your story well, it will stick; people will remember and share it. Stories can be powerful. The most challenging part of creating a pitch video is coming up with a story that clearly explains the value of your idea while enticing the viewers. 


See how the TeachWell video uses storytelling.

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Personal

People get excited about new ideas when they can connect to the creators behind it. When creating your video pitch, be sure to:

  1. Speak directly to the camera, as if you are speaking directly to the audience. You can do this, even without showing your face.

  2. Be honest - don’t misrepresent yourself or your ideas

  3. Show your passion - If you believe in something, others are more likely to believe in it too!

See how this Instagram video appeals to people’s emotions.

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Sound & Visuals

After all this work, you want to be heard! Make sure to record in a quiet space and use clear and loud voices. You may wish to use music if it enhances your story. Photos, graphics, video, and drawings are almost as important as the spoken words. Some people will pay more attention to what they see than what they hear. 

See how the Furbo video uses sound and visuals.

Pitch Style

Pitch Style

The most challenging part of the video is coming up with a story that clearly explains the value of your idea while enticing viewers. 

As you plan your video for your product idea, business concept, or marketing campaign, think about the tone of your solution. Is your solution happy and bubbly? Is it smart? Is it serious and beautiful? Consider your target users and their everyday lives. What tone would capture them? Watch some videos to see pitch styles with different tones.

A Day in the Life (2:34)







Voiceover (1:07)




Design Story (2:08)




Problem and Solution (3:37)

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Pitch Style

The most challenging part of the video is coming up with a story that clearly explains the value of your idea while enticing viewers. 

As you plan your video for your product idea, business concept, or marketing campaign, think about the tone of your solution. Is your solution happy and bubbly? Is it smart? Is it serious and beautiful? Consider your target users and their everyday lives. What tone would capture them? Watch some videos to see pitch styles with different tones.

A Day in the Life (2:34)







Voiceover (1:07)




Design Story (2:08)




Problem and Solution (3:37)

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Create a Marketing Campaign

It's time to get creative and CREATE a prototype of your idea. This is what you'll use to explain your awesome solution!By the end of the Create phase, you should be able to:

  • Show your Marketing Plan

  • Explain how you created your prototype(s)

  • Share your feedback and demonstrate how you revised your prototype(s)

  • Be ready to create your video pitch

Prototyping Tools

Using your Business Blueprint as a guide and your selected materials, determine what aspect of the business you’d like to prototype first and how you’d like to prototype, then start creating! Consider using the the following tools:

  1. Building materials: Great for prototyping processes, infrastructures, and work flows and just fun for everyone.

  2. Recyclables: Take something apart and use the parts for your prototype or dig into your recycling bin and see what you can use. 

  3. Video: A short and scrappy video can go a long way to communicate anything.

  4. Paper, cardboard: Sketching, drawing, diagramming, building

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favorite cars

  • vw

  • Porsche

  • alfa

favorite ice create

  • strawberry organic

  • green tea

  • vanilla

  • pink

  • really yummy fruit

tables galore

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europe

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asia

korea

seoul

north america

united states

new york