Watching Learning Happen

I sit quietly Friday morning, watching the aftermath of a “knowledge dump” (That’s what I’m going to call it) session on radiation. The white board was full of information of nuclear radiation equations, particle penetration and energy levels, and general characteristics of the three major forms of radiation. Afters months working on STEM projects, preparing for Presentations of Learning, and finishing up their sophomore research papers before the end of the year, the students are “eating up” their self-directed learning modules on nuclear energy and spending time teaching each other trigonometry.

We, the teachers, have become resources; students set their own schedules, optimize the time they need to spend on each topic and project. They willingly help each other, sharing their strengths with their peers, and using “little tricks” to remember steps or to solve problems. It really is fascinating to see the learning environment that has been fully established over the year. The growth of the students has been amazing, from the first time they picked up a temperature probe in September, to their final National History Day projects in May (Go WASPs!!!).

This week they had a little break, as they got to go to the Bruce Museum to see the Electricity and Electric Paris exhibits, and had a fun ice cream social with the current and upcoming Innovation Lab students. I am excited to watch next year’s progress…wait… I am supposed to be teaching…but then again, how is that different?

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