Big Idea Week
I used the term “week” very loosely. We began at the end of January encouraging students to be problem finders. They developed wonder walls in the classroom to brainstorm ideas of problems that need to be solved in the school, community, and the world.
Week of 2/6/27 — we kicked it off with a K-2 and a 3-5 assembly to get them excited and hear from entrepreneurs and design thinkers. The rest of the week, students worked in teams to design a solution to a problem they selected as a product or service. Throughout the day, we had groups working, mentors visiting, and ideas buzzing! There were more lightbulb moments in that week, than we may have had all year.
Finally, Friday was our pitches in the classroom! Students had the opportunity to share their big idea, and each person gets to decide which team they will “invest” in. This was really important to emphasize with the students. This is not a winning or losing event, it was a matter of development and idea readiness.
Throughout the following week, I worked with the top teams from every class to help them develop their ideas, practice, and prototype for our big panel pitch day.
Friday 2/17 was our big “shark-tank-esque” day! We had 5 judges including city representation, start-up entrepreneur, design entrepreneur, and a university professor. They provided amazing feedback for students! ABC11 even came and interviewed students – you can view Julie Wilson’s story here!
One step further – teams who were the most market ready pitches from that day, are being showcased at the North Carolina Technology in Education Society. This is an amazing opportunity for the students to do the talking and get their Big Ideas out there! I learned so much through this experience about learner agency, enabling student innovation, and designing and facilitating a school wide community experience.