For the past few weeks I have had the honor of working as a member of the MSU-Wipro Urban STEM Fellowship’s instructional team, with twenty-five of the most dedicated, inspiring and motivated educators in Chicago’s Public Schools. These past two weeks were the initial face to face portion of a year long fellowship that focuses on helping STEM educators create transformative, innovative and multimodal learning environments for their students.
Throughout the two weeks, I had the privilege of watching fellows dive into content, pedagogy, technology and social justice as they collaboratively worked towards revolutionizing the way young learners in Chicago experience the STEM subjects.
I will do my best to share the amazing ideas and creations developed by the fellows. There have already been too many to explain in one post. Please visit the web portfolios for each fellow, as they will be showcasing their work by publishing on their personal sites. After spending the past two weeks around these amazing fellows, I am thrilled for all of the Chicago students whose STEM related experiences will be profoundly different this school year.
During my experience in MSU’s MAET program, I had the opportunity to participate in countless mind blowing, thought provoking and astoundingly creative activities. One of my absolute favorites was a simple task of personifying various features of our building with little mouths, noses and eyes we drew. This simple activity was based on the idea that one of the practices of geniuses is to look at things from multiple perspectives and angles. This came from the book we read in Year 3, Sparks of Genius, and I loved watching our classroom spring to life as my classmates added faces to everything in walking distance. Today I got to experience it again.
As we dive into our Genius Hour project, I try to talk with my students about the word “genius” and its many applications. Today, I decided to share with them this idea of multiple perspectives, and to let them take a few moments at the beginning of class to look at their learning environment in a different way. It was amazing watching students slowly move around the room and flex their unrestricted creativity. Similarly to our Genius Hour, some students seemed intimidated by the lack of rules, but by the end I was amazed with what they created. I have shared as many as I could capture below.