Thursday, December 1, 2016

Innovator's Mindset & Celebrate DeSTEMber

Dave Burgess taught our staff the 6 most insulting words a person can say, "It's easy for you, you're creative!" If you have ever seen Dave speak he doesn't just tell you these words, he asks them out in an over the top, pirate. theatrical production that he pulls off incredibly well. Dave's point is that there is nothing easy about planning these incredible lessons that last with our students, even for  people who seem to have these ideas drop out of the sky into their minds.

As I read The Innovator's Mindset, I connected it to what Dave Burgess had said. Just like creative lesson planning is a mindset, so to is innovation. I approached Hour of Code with the idea that I could do what had been done before, or I could use this as an opportunity to be creative and innovate the experience that we are offering Merton students. From that spark of an idea grew the month of DeSTEMber. An opportunity that goes well beyond the coding work that students will do December 5-9, but also includes outside experiences brought into our schools.

Today I kicked off our Celebrate DeSTEMber month with the STEAM Museum visiting Merton school. I will admit, I was nervous. I had sold this program as being great! I had convinced teachers and administrators to take time out of their day to come. The truth is...I had never seen the program in action. I took a risk, because innovation is a risk. Sometimes it is going to work and sometimes it isn't. I am glad to say today is one of the days that it worked. I watched as 400 kids grades 4K-4th walked through the doors and were awe inspired by their ability to access robots, generators, gears, 3-D printers, and technology in a hands on museum quality exhibit. More importantly, I watched as the light bulbs clicked for our students and they became creators and innovators.

Isn't that our goal? Not that we create an innovator's mindset for ourselves, but that we model an innovator's mindset for our students so that they grow to have one as well. I am so excited about the Celebrate DeSTEMber events that are going to be happening throughout the month. I would never say that it was an easy thing to pull off (and we are only one day into it), but after what I saw today I know that it is going to be every bit worth it.

Curious what else is going on during DeSTEMber? Check out my web page to learn more about it!