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Challenge 20/20

We no longer accept applications for the NAIS Challenge 20/20 program!


After nearly a decade, the NAIS Challenge 20/20 program concluded at the end of the 2014-2015 academic school-year, on May 22, 2015. We are extremely proud and appreciative of all of the work that students and teachers from around the world who participated in Challenge 20/20 have accomplished in the last decade.  Students and teachers interested in continuing their work on global issues and problem-solving can participate in other programs, such as the Global Issues Network and TakingITGlobal. NAIS works closely with these organizations and we are certain that they will help our schools continue their global education work.  

1.    The Global Issues Network (GIN) empowers young people to collaborate locally, regionally, and globally to create project-based, sustainable solutions for global issues. To connect with GIN and to explore hosting your own regional GIN conference, contact Linda Sills, Program Director at

2.    TakingITGlobal’s resources on global problems are expansive and schools can take advantage of its online matching system to connect with other schools from around the world. Educators can also participate in courses on teaching global issues through TakingITGlobal. To access the site for educators, click here.  To access the site for students, click here.  For more information, contact Michael Furdyk, Founder and Executive Director at

There are also other organizations offering global issues programs and resources, which we would encourage you to explore.

Through Challenge 20/20, thousands of students from PK-12 schools, both public and private and from close to 70 countries, have teamed up over the years to research and identify solutions to global problems that could be implemented locally in their own schools and communities as well as nationally and globally. Their solutions ranged from building awareness about water scarcity, pollution, deforestation, biodiversity losses, and poverty; to creating a prototype for mosquito nets that could be used by children and adults in countries affected by malaria; to sending hand sanitizers and hospital supplies to orphanages and hospitals in South America; to developing efficient cook stoves; and many other solutions. These students’ hard work to build realistic and workable solutions to address challenges has been extraordinary and it has brought us much hope for the future of our world.

NAIS will continue to grow its global initiatives resources, programs, and partnerships to help students gain the skills necessary to become successful global leaders and concerned global citizens. We hope that our students will continue to work on global problem-solving and that they will continue to strive to make the world a better place for all.

To get a sense of some of the Challenge 20/20 projects and to learn more about what Challenge 20/20 schools have accomplished since 2005, please visit the following links.  These are only a few samples of past projects.

Hear from Past Participants

  • Listen to a conversation with Jacque Minarik of St. Catherine’s School (Virginia) in which she talks about integrating the program into the curriculum and the benefit to students and faculty at her school.
  • Listen to a conversation with Brentnall Powell of the Derryfield School (New Hampshire) in which he talks about his school’s participation in Challenge 20/20 and how his school collaborated with its partner school.
  • Listen to a conversation with Martha Fox of the Brookwood School (Massachusetts) in which she talks about Challenge 20/20 and the ways it is integrated into her school's curriculum.
  • Watch a video about Challenge 20/20.
  • ​The American International School of Mozambique (AISM):  Video created by students working on Water Deficits.
  • Watch a video of the ​workshop "Engaging Students as Global Citizens", presented by teachers and students from two Challenge 20/20 participating schools:  Vermont Commons School in South Burlington, VT and North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, FL.  The workshop was presented at the NAIS Annual Conference in Orlando on February 28, 2014.

Articles and Profiles of Past Projects

Questions?  Contact Ioana Wheeler, director of global initiatives and board of trustees programs at   ​

Article Date: 5/11/2015
Member Perspectives

​On Challenge 2020

"Challenge 20/20 allows the students to see themselves as activists, not only in their community, but in the wider world."

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