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LWHS Students Headed to Switzerland, Summer 2024!

How is Lick-Wilmerding High School preparing students to be global citizens? How do our classrooms connect our students to the larger world?

We’re proud to announce that LWHS has been selected, alongside only 25 other schools worldwide, to participate in the Villars Institute this coming summer. Located in the Swiss Alps, the mission of the Villars Institute is to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy and to restore the health of the planet for all of its inhabitants. The Institute is a unique opportunity for LWHS students to bring their creativity, technical skills, and ideas to a global conversation about sustainability and people-centered design. 

In June, six LWHS students, along with English teacher Dr. Angela Wall and Frosh/Soph Dean Chris Yin will travel to Switzerland to participate in the Institute, where they will interact with teams from around the world and work with global practitioners to explore sustainability challenges and deepen their understanding of complex ecological, economic, political, and social systems. These six students are now officially “Villars Fellows,” and will have access to this global network of thinkers and creators for the rest of their lives. Here’s how two of our Villars Fellows students are thinking about their trip:

  • Zach, '25: “I hope this fellowship will help me learn strategies to have a bigger impact in this community, and introduce me to a framework on which I may be able to design systems to impact change and deepen my mentorship with Lick teachers/staff with like interest.”
  • Finley, '25: “The Villars program will be a perfect culmination of my years of environmentalism, incorporating design, storytelling, entrepreneurship, and most importantly building relationships. I have so much to learn but also so much to offer, and [I plan to] share all of my learnings with my peers.”

We also had a chance to welcome Lee Howell, Villars’ Executive Director, to campus earlier this month. Mr. Howell visited our classrooms and sat down with the LWHS team of teachers and students who will be attending the summit in June. He was especially excited about Lick’s technical arts classes, and the ways in which LWHS students are using design thinking to solve problems. “The world’s problems right now are novel – they are not things we have confronted before. We–humanity–need to invent the solutions. We will also need people who can take a solution and implement it, and understand process and systems thinking. There is literature around the kinds of skills employers are looking for: they will need workers who are analytical and can think creatively, in the ways that LWHS is teaching students to do.” 

LWHS students are a perfect fit for Villars: in our classrooms, they are learning not only how to be analytical and critical thinkers but also how to design and build objects with real world purposes. We can’t wait to follow their journey to Switzerland! 

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