8th-Graders Pitch Ideas to Kick Off Innov8 Capstone


Last week, Trinity 8th-graders kicked off our Middle School Capstone project, Innov8. Students pitched their ideas and got constructive feedback on their projects, which focus on an identified need in the Austin area. The project pitches include inspiring ideas such as a lesson plan teaching positive body image, a hub to bring team sports to low-income families, an app to support teens with depression, and how to stay safe from zebra mussels.

All eighth graders participate in Innov8, a class that guides students through problem finding, researching, testing, and creating realistic plans. Usually, students meet with our Vanguard partners on campus to get feedback and guidance, but this year our amazing professionals joined their virtual meeting to help guide the students' ideas. 

During the semester-long class, students choose a relevant issue and design an original solution that brings their personal experiences and interests into the mix. Students follow a design-thinking loop to better understand the needs of those impacted by the problem and then improve their solution.



At the end of the semester, our 8th-graders bring their plans and stories at the culminating Innov8 Symposium with formal stage pitches and interactive convention-style booths. Innov8's entrepreneurial foundation informs our current work of designing sustainable not-for-profit service solutions and helps our students learn that it's possible to bring their ideas to life.

At the end of their first meeting, core Innov8 advisor Dr. Meg Dowdy reminded her students that their projects go deeper than just surface level.

"What's so exciting is that you're creating something that has some longevity and really makes an impact," she said. "You guys aren't just eighth-graders, you're changemakers."