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Design Your Impact as You Design Your Future


Design Your Impact is a new semester course offered at Korea International School high school. As part of the KIS commitment to applied learning and service, Design Your Impact (DYI) is an inquiry based course that encourages curiosity and awareness of issues in the world, asking students to think critically and creatively to meet a specific need. DYI students choose the issue they want to address. For example, Olivia is exploring implicit bias and media consumption. Yuna is asking questions about how to build connections between youth and elders through technology education. And Seoho wonders how to teach social media app users about the algorithms that keep us hooked.

Nate Samuelson guides the DYI students. For three years, Mr. Samuelson has helped KIS faculty and students develop service programs. Working with high school clubs, Mr. Samuelson led a shift from a focus on awareness of an issue to action in response to an issue. Awareness is essential. But once you are aware of an issue, your response is what sparks change. KIS students grow with this understanding, beginning in elementary school. 

Olivia promotes digital citizenship and responsible media consumption. She is curious about implicit bias and conducted a survey to gauge how the animated captions of Korean variety shows affect viewers' perception of show participants. Olivia now hopes to help develop a digital citizenship curriculum. 

Seoho’s project also intersects awareness and the digital world. His interest in personal technology use and mental health led him to develop a short animation to explain how the TikTok algorithm works to keep you engaged. He believes that understanding how social media algorithms work empowers consumers to make informed decisions about their engagement. 

Yuna’s internship at a senior center got her thinking about how technology can help elders stay connected. The pandemic increased reliance on apps and social media but many elders share that technology feels inaccessible. Yuna proposed a technology program that develops elders’ technology skills, pairing them with secondary student tutors. 

All three inaugural DYI students appreciate the time this course gives students to both fully research an issue and form a response. Mr. Samuelson is hopeful for continued interest and growth in the course too. At KIS students design their future – and their impact.