The ArtScience Prize

WGCNY + Daniel Hai + Sara Woolley + Boys & Girls Club = The ArtScience Prize Winners!

My friend Sara Woolley contacted me, and Daniel Hai, in early April about a project she was involved in. She said she was mentoring high school students from the Boys & Girls Club, who had entered a contest thrown by The ArtScience Prize. Sara described the contest as follows:


“Basically HS students are put in teams to come up with creative “art science” ideas to solve a problem around an annual theme. Think Davinci, like the best of both Art and Science thought processes without separating the two. This year’s theme is energy of the future.  The kids begin with that core, but it’s really open ended and they can go anywhere that interests them in terms of a project idea from that beginning point.  However, the nature of letting them go in any direction creatively, means that many will go out of my comfort zone as they explore their own interests.

Some groups of teens make prototype inventions, others socially interactive art installations, and in the case of the teams I am reaching out to you guys about, an prototype of an app.  The ideas or prototypes do not have to actually work when the teens present them, but they have to have done the due diligence and conducted experiments, or made a mock up- to prove that the idea could work. The teams are competing for funding to realize their ideas, and a trip to Paris to further develop it in a workshop setting with other teens.”


With that said, Sara went on to ask if we would be interested in being a consultant for her student group. We agreed and not too long after the emails started rolling in. These kids had some very cool ideas and very good questions about how to get their apps from idea to reality. Daniel and I would both respond with our advice from our various perspectives and the kids would take that, move forward and come back with new questions.

After a few weeks of back and froth we were invited to the Hall of Science for the final presentation. Unfortunately, I was unable attend but it sounded like it was going be awesome. From Sara:


“The Art Science Final Presentation at the New York Hall of Science is this coming Friday, the 16th at 6:30 PM. We will be in their Auditorium for the Presentations an will be the only ones in the Museum.  It’s a bit like the show Shark Tank… except all our judges are nice. The kids get up and have 7 minutes to present their idea, with a 3 minute question round. They are competing for $3,000 and a trip to Paris to continue their idea in an international workshop.”


I was very excited for the kids and was wishing them all the luck in the world. About 1 week later I reached out to Sara to see if the results had come in, and to my surprise not only had they come in, but it turned out that her students had won!

Once the photos are readily I’ll post them up so you can see them. It was a very exciting time for them and I was glad to have been a part (albeit a small part) of their success. I wish those kids all the best with their project and I walk away knowing all their futures just got a little brighter!