Creativity and innovation will definitely be the most wanted skills in the professionals of the future and for this reason our "maker" after-schools boost them through projects of robotics, coding, 3D design and virtual reality.
A project is an invitation to dream and what you learn is to make it happen. Just like in the professional world, it's essential to clearly define the goal, careful planning, and trust your teammates. Working for projects teaches us to live with uncertainty and not to be distressed because all the answers are not on the table. It teaches us to rely on our intuition and our ability to imagine unconventional solutions.
During the first quarter of the course in our STEAM workshops we have developed these learnings using technology as a multiplier element of creativity based on very diverse and truly motivating topics.
Sharing our ideas with the world... and beyond!
A great motivation for students who develop technological projects with the IGNITE Serious Play activities is the chance to share them with other boys and girls of the same age who are studying in schools around the world. One of the main surprises of this course has been, precisely, Mars Settlers, an international project in which different groups of students accept the challenge of becoming the first to colonize Mars. Since the beginning of the year, the teams of Escola Pia Sitges, American School of Barcelona, Jesuïtes Sarrià-Sant Ignasi, Escola IPSE y la Catholic DS Eastern Ontario have worked hard to create the best rocket designs to make the mission a success and print the winning option in three dimensions.
Some of these colonies are already at a fairly advanced stage and have already started to build essential facilities for the survival of the planet, such as power plants, shelters prepared for the hard environmental conditions and, of course, food sources grown in special greenhouses. In this great gamified project, all decisions are important, since not only is the future of each colony at stake, but the success of the mission depends on all of them as they progress and fulfill their objectives. This engaging experience not only provides participants with a strong motivation to learn the principles of 3D design but also to exercise their strategic vision to make the best decisions in collaboration with other teams. Will our brave and determined explorers achieve their goal? We will find out over the next few weeks.
Making the leap to project-based learning
The Col·legi Montserrat is also full of galactic adventurers ready to make the jump to the stars. In this case there are three ships that have departed in search of a mysterious alien signal arriving on Earth as a warning to humans. After solving all kinds of tests and difficulties, the brave astronauts of Space Quest have had to put all their brain to the test in order to build models with motorized machines that restore energy on distant planets or allow communications to be re-established with the base. The secret of success is, in this case, in the coordination of all the members of each team (pilots, engineers, doctors, explorers, biologists and aliens) who will have to give their best to discover the mystery behind the lost signal.The projects allow us to connect with more or less distant futures, but they are also a gate to the past that makes us marvel with the wisdom of our ancestors. This is the case of the incredible project being carried out by the boys and girls of Robotics STEAM & Education in Athens, investigating the fantastic mechanical designs of Archimedes and printing them in 3D to be able to understand them better. In this case, this project is being connected with the work that the students of Escola Pia Sitges are doing on water and possible solutions for its sanitation and management in the framework of sustainable cities as pointed out by the by the Sustainable Development Goals powered by the United Nations.
This is just a small sample of the projects we are currently developing in schools, a whole universe of possibilities in which the great protagonists are the boys and girls who, from today, are already shaping the future that awaits us.