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Best of the Week 2018-2019: Teaching to the Future


To continue emphasizing our goal of teaching to the future, St. Ed's launched the Young Innovators Institute at St. Edward High School this week. The Young Innovators Institute is a 12-week enrichment experience for boys in the 6th and 7th grades that allows them to fully engage in the design cycle as they collaborate, ideate, create, design, engineer, prototype, film, pitch and launch new ideas into the world. While participating in the Young Innovators Institute, students will work together to complete a design challenge with an emphasis on creating solutions for big problems. The challenge blends together five cutting edge fields, including coding, engineering, filmmaking, entrepreneurship and 21st century public speaking. All participants will be competing in the design challenge for a chance to win a grand prize of $300.

The first session of the Young Innovators Institute kicked off on Wednesday evening, welcoming over 30 students to participate in this unique experience at St. Ed's. Session 1 tackled the question, "What is Innovation?" and focused on the importance of collaboration in order to discover dozens of solutions for one problem. Students learned that just like playing a sport, imagination must be practiced with control and proper coaching in order to be used more often and to the best of its ability. Students were then split up into small groups of five to participate in thinking scrimmages which encouraged them to work collaboratively, practice open-mindedness and trust their imagination enough to take risks. Drawing inspiration from famed British researcher Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk, students were challenged to take a simple, universal office supply and repurpose it in as many different ways as possible. The winning group of this activity scored a free pizza party at next week's session. In preparation for Session 2, students must prepare a 60 second story about a time when they thought to fix or improve something and break down into single words the key actions they undertook to innovate.

Looking forward to the next 11 sessions for the Young Innovators Institute, students will learn to understand design cycles, practice problem identification, develop and manufacture solutions, foster an entrepreneurship mentality, compose and pitch product ideas and concepts, produce an advertising commercial and use coding as a language of the future. St. Ed's Young Innovators Institute seeks to teach younger students about cutting edge innovation and how to apply it in their everyday lives to grow as well-rounded imaginers, creators and innovators.

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