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August 2012
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Six High Schoolers Drop Out To Fix Education System

Six Twin Cities teenagers are publicly asking the question, "Why shouldn't I drop out of high school?" and they want you to help them decide.

You can submit your response in the form of a Facebook comment, an email, a blog response or a YouTube video. The twist? The teens are all actors, hired to play dropouts in order to jumpstart a conversation about what's working, and not working, about education.

Introducing Ed Zed Omega, a new alternative reality learning experience created by game designer Ken Eklund and co-produced by tpt's Interactive Media department.

Check out the video below and meet the teens who are dropping out:

These six aren't the only kids dropping out - this year over 1 million U.S. high school students won't go back to school in the fall. That's roughly 7,000 kids dropping out every school day.

"We're not talking about just six teens, or even the million-plus teens who drop out year after year. We're really talking about school being something that many, maybe most, young people tolerate or survive," said Ken Eklund, creator and experience designer of Ed Zed Omega. "If the first step is to feel the problem, to make it human and personal, then what better start than to chat with it on Facebook?" 

Ed Zed Omega aims to find out why through the actions of six fictional high schoolers- aka the Zed Omegas.  Each character has a different reason for dropping out: Why does Clare need school if she wants to be an actress? What's high school giving Nicole after they canceled the music program? Why should Jeremy attend if he isn't challenged in the slightest? They all plan to drop out. But an enthusiastic guidance counselor strikes a deal - one last semester of self-directed study.  This crowd-sourced investigation pushes the kids and the game participants to explore current education issues and think about how to solve them.  The kids are dropping out LOUD.

Join the game this Wednesday to share your point of view and reimagine education with these six teens before they drop out for good. Just go to edzedomega.org to play along.

Ed Zed Omega is part of Localore, a national initiative of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, with financial support from AIR's Localore initiative, and is being funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Ed Zed Omega Teens

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