Yesterday during lunch we held one of our biweekly Innovation Lab “Town Hall” meetings. At these meetings Innovation Lab students and faculty come together to discuss issues, problem solve, make plans, and generally build the cohesive community that is Innovation Lab. This week’s meeting focused on plans for outreach – trying to answer the question: How can we best communicate to others what Innovation Lab is, what we do, and how we do it so as to enable parents and students to decide if this approach to the educational experience is right for them?
Current Innovation Lab students had clear ideas about what that outreach should look like and feel like and came up with a plan. They want to make a mini-documentary to share with all and sundry that gives a glimpse into Innovation Lab. In order to make this vision a reality, over the next few weeks students will work in teams to storyboard, plan, interview, film and edit a WeVideo documentary. One team each will focus on the STEM, Humanities, and Design Studio courses and projects, two teams will draft questions for and interview current Innovation Lab students and faculty, and one team will perform final editing and create an intro and conclusion. Once we have the video, Innovation Lab students are hoping to be invited to join Freshmen mentoring groups or other classes to present the video, answer questions, and invite any students who wish to learn more to shadow a current Innovation Lab student for a day. It’s a solid plan. And the absolute best thing about it? The students saw a need, proposed a solution, came up with a plan to implement that solution, and are going to make it happen. The role of faculty here? Supportive coaches to assist them. Wait a minute! That means our video to document InLab’s approach to project-based learning is itself an exercise in project-based learning!!! Just what we were hoping for…..
Meanwhile Innovation Lab faculty have scheduled several evening info sessions. The email below went out to Greenwich High School Parents and students inviting them to join us to learn more about Innovation Lab:
Dear Parents and Students,
GHS Innovation Lab is a five credit program available to all students who will be sophomores or juniors in Fall 2016. Students learn English/Social Studies through a co-taught Humanities class based on blending graduation requirements and student choice. Math and Science are combined into a STEM course with an increased focus on technology and engineering. All courses have an honors option and the current student population is representative of the sophomore class as a whole. Students in Innovation Lab learn through projects – both individually and as a team – that serve a real-world purpose.
When you walk by Innovation Lab STEM, Humanities, or Design Studio classes, you’ll likely see students collaborating toward individual and group goals. In three months, they’ve designed and built devices to measure human impact on the environment, researched and created documentaries on contemporaty issues related to the Progressive Era, and read The Great Gatsby within a focused study of the historical context. The MoMA field trip in November was a student favorite. Students are currently creating a paired digital and physical art piece that reflects their identity. We’re excited to announce a public showcase at the Bruce Museum on February 2, 2015 where you can talk with students and faculty about their work.
Info-sessions for parents and students interested in enrolling for the 2016-2017 school year begin this month. The sessions are on Monday, 12/7, Tuesday, 12/15, Thursday, 1/14, and Wednesday 1/27, at 7 PM. Sessions will begin in Cantor 500 and will include a tour of our three rooms, a description of the program, and a Q&A with faculty and current students. Innovation Lab’s most current plans will be new even to those who attended last year. Students who will be sophomores or juniors in the Fall of 2016 are eligible.
Please email the team if you’d like more information. Our Twitter is active with photos from class and our blog includes our reflections. Research, development, and makerspace materials are supported by the Greenwich Alliance for Education. Planning and ongoing support is provided by Greenwich Leadership Partners. We look forward to meeting you soon.
We are looking forward to it!
Happenings this week in Innovation Lab STEM