How might we improve access to healthcare for rural Georgians? A Quest


From early January through mid February, 2019, our middle schoolers are taking on the following real-world Quest:

How might we improve access to healthcare for rural Georgians?

Our learners will play the roles of healthcare advocates and investigative journalists. They will meet and collaborate with the following experts: Health Care policy makers (State representatives), Audio journalists, Medical transport, and Child Care Providers. In terms of the kind of work they’ll do, this Quest is highly intellectual and requires learners to do authentic real-world work, like researching possible solutions to individual problems. The Quest includes multiple work modalities including:

  • Conducting empathy interviews

  • Conducting research

  • Prototyping solutions, seeking out feedback, and improving prototypes

  • Analyzing root causes and synthesizing key statistics

  • Making sound recordings

  • Fielding live Q&A

Essentially, this Quest is NPR meets the World Health Organization in that it combines elements of audio journalism and healthcare policy.

A far cry from a traditional school project, this Quest seeks to help real people with real issues. Specifically, each learner will: find someone who experiences lack of healthcare access, research their situation, and present a solution to their problem. Learners will create basic podcasts of their experience—introducing the “user,” highlighting the obstacle to healthcare, and presenting a solution. The podcasts will be simple productions using basic smartphone and Chromebooks apps. The Exhibition will be a “virtual” event—Learners will publish their podcasts on Podomatic, a free podcast hosting platform. Podcasts will also be sent directly with experts statewide in small batches (3-4 podcasts per expert). A feedback form will also be sent to the experts. Feedback will be returned to the Guide and then given to learners during a live Facebook Live panel.

In general, our middle schoolers are self-directed. But they are guided by Caleb Collier, whose previous work in documentary filmmaking makes him well positioned to guide heroes through this Quest.

Caleb’s past project Give Us Names was featured on CNN in 2011 and can be seen below:

At Exhibition, Caleb will serve as moderator, giving the learners a mix of feedback and questions received from experts/users, as well as comments/questions from the live audience and Facebook live stream.

Join us virtually at our FB Live Exhibition Friday, February 15, 2019, from 9:45-10:45am ET.

From the outset, attempts will be made to receive feedback from users on the learners’ proposed solutions and to deliver the audio recording. At the Feb 15 Exhibition, parents and visitors will follow their learners through each stage—watching during their child’s presentation, participating with their children during their reflection, and judging/scoring the panelists (using the online feedback form) while their child is also judging/scoring. Learners will get two forms of feedback from experts and attendees: 1.) the quality, feasibility, and sustainability of their solution to their user’s healthcare roadblock; and 2.) the content and quality of their podcast.

Follow the Quest online at @forestschoolPF!

banner image via

Tyler Thigpen