Public Health Infodemics in a Digital Environment Among Youth

Hackathon Fall 2023

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This innovative initiative is aimed to instill Leadership and Educational Advancement among Youth to solve Public Health (LEAP) challenges of the 21st century.

These initiatives task youth with presenting out-of-box solutions to address public health challenges impacting the world today. This platform brings together youth's ideas on how today's pressing public health problems can be addressed across diverse local and global settings. In our inaugural launch, a few selected high schools were given the opportunity to generate solution-based ideas. Some of the winning ideas among the high schoolers included:

  • Impact of COVID-19 on teens and ways to overcome it
  • Tackling obesity: a challenge
  • Effects of media usage on mental health

As we connect youth locally, nationally, and globally, we are beginning to embark on solving public health challenges on a greater scale. To further sensitize public health among high schoolers, the University of Memphis School of Public Health plans to expand these initiatives in high schools globally and, for this second series, proposes to address the topic of:


"Public Health Infodemics in a Digital Environment Among Youth"


The rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation online has emerged as a pressing public issue of the 21st century. Too much information overwhelmed individuals, communities, and health systems and led to people developing information avoidance. Changes in consumer behavior, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are increasing the need for a redesign of the entire health ecosystem. A recent study showed that 41% of teenagers can’t tell the difference between true and fake online health messages. Given the alarming spread of health-related misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgency to teach youth the skills they need to evaluate the credibility of online sources of news and information.

This initiative will allow the participants to present innovative ideas to address the issue of public health infodemics/misinformation in a digital environment.

We invite multisector, multi-institutional, cross-country participation in this innovative initiative to sensitize youth about the importance of public health and create a community of learners and leaders in public health. These public health change makers will be equipped with training in "Public Health Infodemics in a Digital Environment Among Youth" and its impact towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being.

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Become a Public Health Champion of Change.

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This will serve as an excellent opportunity to get your ideas recognized, highlight, and find solutions to the growing public heath challenges among the youth.

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Get your thinking caps on and be a part of this enriching experience!

icon for participantsWhy participate?

  • Turn ideas into reality.
  • Solve public health problems through innovative and sustainable solutions.
  • Contribute towards the improvement of good health and well-being on a larger scale.
  • Become champions of public health change.

icon for participantsWho can participate?

  • High school students from grade 9 to 12 with interest in solving Public Health challenges of the 21st century.
  • Current students of UofM School of Public Health (Undergraduates, Masters and Doctoral and other programs)

icon for important datesImportant Dates

Announcement of Hackathon
Information Session
Deadline for Participant Registration
Abstract Submission
Initial Screening
Notification to the Final List
Final Pitch
Announcement of Winners

icon for abstractAbstract Details

  • Word limit: 500
  • Problem statement (10 points) highlight topic and the public health problem it addresses.
    • Background
    • Objective
    • Significance and Relevance
  • Solution/Innovation proposed (10 points)
  • Approach - describe how you plan to address this problem (10 points)
  • Impact: How would you assess? (10 Points)
  • Sustainability: How will you propose the sustainability of the solution? (10 Points)

icon for evaluation criteriaEvaluation Criteria

The 7 best public health ideas would be selected by the esteemed jury representing multidisciplinary team based on the CREATE criteria:

esearch oriented

icon for awards and recognitionAwards and recognition

  • Certificate of participation
  • Public Health Souvenirs
  • The best 5-10 public health ideas will get an opportunity to be featured on the website, social media, and newsletter.

icon for schoolSchools Participating

Logo University High School
Logo Medical District High School
Logo of Shelby County Schools

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