Our third Innovation Week is underway with the theme of “Entrepreneurial Spirit”. This wasn’t the easiest topic for our students to grasp, so at first we turned to the Alberta Education material on the topic, since it was part of the “Inspiring Education” work that came from them. This quote outlines their idea of Entrepreneurial Spirit:
“Entrepreneurial Spirit: who creates opportunities and achieves goals through hard work, perseverance and discipline; who strives for excellence and earns success; who explores ideas and challenges the status quo; who is competitive, adaptable and resilient; and who has the confidence to take risks and make bold decisions in the face of adversity.”
– from the “Framework for Student Learning” – Alberta Education
To help further explain the topic to our students we turned to a quote from Yong Zhao:
“a process that results in creativity, innovation and growth. Innovative entrepreneurs come in all shapes and forms; its benefits are not limited to startups, innovative ventures and new jobs. Entrepreneurship refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action and is therefore a key competence for all, helping young people to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they undertake.”
– Yong Zhao
Once we helped our students understand where they could go with the theme, they took off in a way even we didn’t expect. The first two days had a calm feeling that seemed almost eerie. Gone was the chaos and numerous questions and in its place was a feeling of focus and determination. In our third Innovation Week our students seem no longer surprised by the freedom or intimidated by the task, but rather excited, engaged and ready to get to work.
While the benefit to our students has been there throughout all three Innovation Weeks, it seems in this one we have found our groove and now our job turns to maximizing the potential of the experience.
We are being very purposeful with our collecting of feedback from our students including multiple ways for them to express themselves. We will again conclude the week with an open house showcase of their learning, but to this we have added a “Speakers Corner” where students can go and share their thoughts on some well crafted questions, and we will also have our teachers interview each individual/group taking part on Thursday.
While not all of the 450 students are engaged in earth-shattering projects, they are all engaged. From jumping in to the experience, to finding purposeful themes to drive the learning, we have been trying to find ways to make the experience a valuable one for our students. Now with Innovation Week 3, we are starting to see just how powerful this can be with each improvement we make and each week we bring to our students.
We can’t wait to see how this week unfolds, but as you can see in the pictures, there are a lot of happy faces busy at work on projects they are very excited about. It’s going to be an exciting next few days, stay tuned…