Every year, students in 6-12th grade are tasked with a year long 15% Innovation Portfolio (15% IP) Project of their choosing. Students are inspired and encouraged by teachers to connect their academic learning to real-world applications and think critically in identifying personal or global needs and designing testable solutions. Our goal at New Life Academy is to equip students not only for college, but for life. We recently read a study that shows that hiring managers indicate that new college graduates are not as ready for the work force as they would like them to be. The skills they say are missing are curiosity, grit, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication. Many students do not improve these skills during college. Why wait for college?
STEAM and 15% IP is an integrated approach to learning at New Life that encourages students to discover, explore, create, innovate, problem-solve and think critically – all with the aim of developing these critical skills now. Solving real-world problem starts with inspiring kids to ask questions. Our STEAM Forum workshop night gives students an opportunity to spend extra time in the innovation center collaborating, designing, exploring and inquiring about what problem or need they would like to solve. Between conversations, design concepts, pizza and prizes, students are able to work together and gain feedback from peers and teachers in a fun and inspiring atmosphere.
100 students attended the first STEAM forum workshop of the 2018-19 school year. Check out the photos and the video from this inspiring night.