About Us

Meet the Designer

Hi, I’m Marielle! I am an educator, climate activist, and grown-up theater & film kid. I started teaching because I think teenagers are brilliant, creative, and deeply misunderstood. I wanted to make school a place that centered students’ curiosity.

But teaching through the height of the pandemic, I struggled with how far removed the materials I was supposed to cover were from my students’ lives. The world around us felt like it was crumbling, but the dry material on benchmark tests stayed the same. One student told me, “We don’t learn anything that matters here,” and I wasn’t sure I could convince her otherwise.

So, I decided I wanted to spend some time thinking hard about how to create learning experiences that really matter to young people. This brought me to Stanford’s Learning Design and Technology Master’s program. I’ve spent the past year reading learning science about student motivation, talking to educational experts, and interviewing students across the country about what they care about.

I learned that young people want to create projects that have an audience beyond the classroom. They want to connect with and learn from other teenagers. They want to have more choice and creativity at school. I also learned many high schoolers care deeply about climate change and often learn more about it from their social media feeds than from their teachers.

This research informs the design of Our Futures Forum: a learning experience that connects climate justice, community research, and youth creativity. I hope that the project helps young people recognize their power as both architects of their own learning and architects of the future world.

If you want to learn more about the project or the research that informs the design, please get in touch at mburt19@stanford.edu.


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