April 15, 2015

design thinking summer institute - Simon Fraser

Eco-Challenge Dragon’s Den
Gord Weeks, Simon Fraser

This project involved inviting all of our grade 9 students to design a product or service with an environmental theme which they were to develop with  a small group of fellow students from their homeroom.  The project culminated with presentations in each homeroom after about 3 weeks of school with each group presenting their idea to their classmates and homeroom teacher.  The top 2 presentations in each homeroom won the chance to pitch their idea to an assembled panel of judges in an “Environmental Dragon’s Den”.  Students were given 1 core period per day and 1 option period to work on this project.

Our work on this project changed my perspective on cross-disciplinary opportunities for students because I saw that students’ level of engagement was much higher than I expected.  I liked the fact that, because students had more choice in what they learned, they spent more time and effort than we had expected, and they had deeper learning about their chosen topic than they would  have gained from a textbook or a single lesson on that topic.

Gord shared a podcast he created to reflect on the project. You can listen here.  (Make sure you are logged into your educbe Google account.)

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