Offering Michigan high school students $500 and two weeks of learning how to make the world better, Wege Prize High School | Collaborative Studio has announced its summer 2023 program, inspiring high school students to collaboratively create innovative solutions that support a future sustainable, circular economy.

The innovative, two-week workshop invites high school students entering their junior or senior year to solve big problems and redesign the way our economies work—and get paid $500 for doing so—during its run in West Michigan, July 24–August 4.

During these two weeks, 15 students will work in teams to create compelling solutions—whether a product or service—to solve “wicked problems” facing the West Michigan region. The workshop provides participants with an active learning experience in which they’ll work in facilitated collaborative groups—led by highly qualified instructors—to research and concept solutions to wicked regional problems through the design process and present their work to community leaders.

Throughout the workshop, Wege Prize High School | Collaborative Studio participants build skills, knowledge, experience, perspective, and professional connections that will expand their career opportunities and inspire them to become more actively engaged with the world around the students. They also benefit from informative and fun field trips to local organizations that support communities in different ways.

Each student participant will receive a $500 stipend, free daily lunches, a certificate of completion, community network building and professional mentoring, letters of recommendation suitable for college and/or internship applications, and portfolio-quality design work. 

Applications Open!

Wege Prize High School | Collaborative Studio

The program is open to students entering the 11th or 12th grade. Interested students may submit applications to be considered for a spot in the workshop – see submission link below for more details – by June 26, 2023.  

In the application, students detail their area of interests; provide nomination and reference letters from a teacher, employer, or counselor; describe personal experiences in relevant subjects; and outline other examples of personal potential and passion for a circular economy.

“Participating students of the Wege Prize High School | Collaborative Studio will gain experience across disciplines by learning from local innovators and engaging with their peers,” says Gayle DeBruyn, KCAD professor and Wege Prize organizer. “Through new life-lasting professional connections, networking opportunities and skills, the students will share in design methodologies and collaborations that will challenge their perspectives and inspire ideas on how to collectively make the world a better place.”

The Wege Prize High School | Collaborative Studio is based on the framework of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD) international collegiate student design competition, Wege Prize, with support from the Wege Foundation.