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Ribbon HUNDRED 2020
A 100% student-led project where youth get to play with light, art and creativity on a global scale.

Global Create-a-thon

location_on Napa, United States
What happens when you give students a high visibility space in the community to present their creative projects and then give them a day to create art, animations, drawings, photographs, stop action, green screen videos to fill that public space? Pure magic. This project is a collaborative design challenge where all the artwork created is incorporated into Lighted Art Festivals around the world.
 Brette Woessner, New Tech Network Coach
Everything in this project is authentic and mirrors a real-world working situation from daily scaffolding to benchmarks and the culminating product.

Brette Woessner, New Tech Network Coach


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2020

Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
1 583
Updated on November 12th, 2021
about the innovation

What is Global Create-a-thon?

What we do?

This project is a day-long design challenge where all the artwork created is incorporated into Lighted Art Festivals and other public venues around the world. The live event is combined with a month long call for art from students from around the globe. This year’s event included an entire high school, two additional high school classes in other cities, as well as two college level classes, a team of high school students who owned/planned/led the event, and finally, a team of teachers, and industry experts who supported the students in their process. Moving forward, students want to continue to collaborate internationally and showcase student artwork at lighted art festivals and other venues (both in person and online) around the world. 

This project gives students an entire day to explore, create, make and share their works of art with the greater community. This event can be done on a small scale, within a classroom, to large scale, including many school collaborating together. Art can be created in both low tech ways with pencils and crayons and high tech ways, with tablets, computers and cameras. The driving force in this project is to give students the power to plan the day and then run the event for their fellow classmates, while providing the support from industry experts and teachers. The project is 100% student-led and 100% teacher supported. 

Students plan and run the event, create lessons and tutorials for their fellow students and get to showcase their natural abilities as artists and leaders in their own right. Through our large international network, we can help to find industry/community experts who are willing to mentor leader students in other cities and countries.

It is critical that we raise the stakes for students by showcasing artwork in a public manner, outside of the classroom, so that communities understand the importance of student voice within the larger eco-system of community. 

Why we do it?

According to the 2019 study by Adobe: Creativity and Education: Why it matters, 71% of college-age professionals say creative thinking should be taught as a course, like math and science. 78% say that creativity is very important to their career and 82% wish they had more exposure to creative thinking as students. But in our rush to cover content, teachers and administrators are forgetting to make space and time for students to explore their creativity.  This project also serves to amplify student voice in the greater community.


HundrED Academy Review

Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
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See this innovation in action

Global Create-a-thon Successfully Brings Agency Using Art & Technology For Its Students
Art and Technology drive the practice of student Agency.  Read the article HERE.
Student Testimonial: Enabling Student's Creative Abilities With New Tech's Create-a-thon 2020
Read HERE about the student's experience as a leader for the Napa Lighted Arts Festival and Global Create-a-thon.  This innovation is student led and student run.
In January of 2020 the New Tech High Digital Design Lab students created a truly global show with animated artwork from New Tech as well as artwork  and collaboration with students from Switzerland, Canada, Vietnam, Finland, Los Angeles, Florida, Maine and West Virginia.  To see the full show CLICK HERE. Join us for 2021! We hope to create a traveling show of artwork, film work, and animations to promote play, creativity, positive messages and more. 
Global Create-a-thon 2020 Overview.mp4
We truly went Global this year! See a student created overview of what we did!
Submit your Artwork!
Your K-12 students can submit artwork to the Global Showcase and have it seen on our building during the Napa Lighted Art Festival on Jan. 11-18, 2020 in Napa, California. The deadline for submissions is November 29, 2019.
What is the Global Create-a-thon? 2 minute Student-Created Video
Watch this 2-minute student made film to learn about what the Global Create-a-thon is all about!
Create-a-thon 2019 Mini-documentary 90sec
Watch this Adobe sponsored video that documented our first every school-wide design challenge from 2018. Great drone footage of the artwork on our building in the Napa Lighted Art Festival
How We Turned a Huge Failed Project into a Major Success
How we turned a failed project into a major success:
Congratulations 2019 Best in Network winner, Lisa Gottfried! - New Tech Network
New Tech Network, a group of over 200 PBL schools across the U.S. has recognized New Tech High's Create-a-thon project as Best in Network.  See the article showcasing the event HERE!


Achievements & Awards

April 2019
Best In Network, New Tech Network
October 2018
Hundred Innovation 2018 and 19: New Tech

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Choose a student leadership team
Choose a student class or group that will plan and implement the day event.
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Get administrative buy-in
Choose a time and place and reserve a day of instruction for the event.
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Students kick off the day
How will students get the rest of the school excited about the day? Store all logistics, lessons and information in one central place.
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Work with adults as mentors
Bring in experts who know how make art or run large events for a living.
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Let the students lead
Students are in charge. As the educator, you are the guide on the side.
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Contact Us to Collaborate
There are three ways you can get involved! Submit work to the Global showcase. Run your own Create-a-thon, OR run a satellite Create-a-thon on the same day we run ours in Napa, Jan. 13, 2020. Share in the day through live-streaming and video conferencing.
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