This Week At STEAM: Week 8 Personalized Learning Week Block 1 2017/18

This week students took learning into their own hands!  The day started off with their final Design Challenge. This challenge was a bit unusual as we didn’t know what the students were going to make…it was completely random!  Using a spreadsheet, we randomly generated what had to be built, what it’s purpose was, where it was to be used, and what material it was to be made out of.  This lead to many unique and creative designs.  As well, there was no “competitive collaboration” as each group had a different task.

Following the Design Challenge, we read the book “What Do You Do With An Idea”.  The book encouraged the students to follow their ideas no matter how silly and weird they were, or what other people thought of them.  Another way it encouraged students to follow their ideas was to show them that their ideas could change the world!  We had a discussion on what the students thought were some world-changing ideas that came out in the past 100 years.

The remainder of the day the students were allowed to go on their Personalized Learning journey.  This is similar to Google Time, 20% Time or Genius Hour.  They were allowed to explore their passions and strengths for the day.  This didn’t mean that they were allowed to just play.  First, the students had to have written a persuasive letter detailing what they would like to do and why.  Next, they had to complete a Personalized Learning Organizer that helped them tie their idea to the 4 C’s and the Design Process.  They had to set their own criteria regarding how they would know they completed their idea.  They also had to ponder how they could continue this activity outside of the STEAM program.  Some students chose to make interactive environments in Minecraft, a Lego or clay stop-motion movie in Smoovie, go deeper into 3D design and printing, or learn more about coding.

The students then had to complete a final reflection where they discussed how they felt now compared to the beginning of the program, what they feel they learned, and any other experiences they wished to share.

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