Creativity in the Studio (Year 2, Week 16)

What do you want the studio to be like the most?

  • Warm and friendly
  • Productive and efficient
  • Fun and happy

Which are we best at?

Which needs the most improvement?

This is the discussion that launched the week. This was an important time to reflect as the studio lost a fellow traveler this week who struggled to stay committed to the journey in the studio.

Many of the heroes agreed that fun and happy was the most important so they felt like the studio was a place they wanted to be. A few disagreed, suggesting that being warm and friendly was more important to the culture we were creating. The heroes had a chance to reflect on what is working and how they want to improve.

They then discussed the importance of their choices in developing studio culture, and how their choices impact themselves and the rest of the community.

Each of these heroes has the power to choose the outcomes of their studio experience, and they were challenged to consider the choices they were making.

Outdoor Experience

Big news this week… A new game was voted in for this week’s outdoor experience! The heroes have voted for capture the flag several week’s in row, but this week, capture the flag was outvoted for a zombie-style freeze tag. Paxton took on the role of timekeeper as the “survivors” tried to keep away from the zombies long enough to beat the clock!

Writer’s Workshop

This week, the heroes have been working hard to complete the first drafts of their hero’s journey stories. On Tuesday, the heroes also began creating the art piece that will go along with their story submission to Stone Soup. The most popular choice for creating their art piece was DrawIsland, although some heroes chose to paint or draw on paper instead. Built into writer’s workshops, badge work, and challenges, are many choices. The heroes are always given options and choices to give them the freedom to express their passion and creativity.

At Heroes Academy we believe this freedom to choose is a treasured piece of learning and life, and gives each hero a sense of ownership over their work.


The heroes began working on the board games for their exhibition this week. Each group used what they have learned so far this quest to design and begin creating a unique game of luck or skill. It’s powerful to see the creativity and passion in each of these heroes. The board games created this week show how much passion the heroes have for this session’s quest!

In the weeks leading up to the exhibition, the heroes will continue to develop their games by working on the design, rules and presentation of the game.

Game Design Hero

On Thursday we had a guest hero in the studio. Markus Nigrin shared about his experience developing games on his own hero’s journey. He shared his experience of working on a big project for 2.5 years and having if flop, then spending 2 weeks on a side project that was downloaded over 2 million times!

He mentioned how even following his passion came with many challenges, and how it required and still requires perseverance and determination.

He also shared a word of caution to the heroes for them and their parents about game chats, and how dangerous they are. Specifically he shared about Roblox, a game most of the heroes were familiar with, and how the chat is overlooked by most parents.

The heroes were highly engaged and lots of questions for Markus.

Town Hall Meeting

In this week’s town hall meeting the heroes had several issues to discuss.

Tyler suggested that the heroes should earn more points for typing if they are typing a story; while earning no points for typing random words, phrases or letters into a word document. This was agreed upon by the heroes and submitted to guides for approval to ensure changes are consistent with promises to parents.

Next, a proposal was brought forward to elect a new council. This sparked a lively debate as to whether or not the studio would benefit from a new Council and how often the option to vote in new members should be available. With a studio vote, it was decided the heroes should vote to elect new members of the Council each session! Ironically a new pattern for council members would soon be offered to the heroes, but the heroes saw the problem themselves and solved it, creating a much better outcome and more ownership over the studio.

Heroes Academy News

The Heroes Academy News continues this week with the following issue. The idea for the news was conceived by Betsy who has been exploring her passion for writing. She was joined by Tyler in this week’s issue.

The news is one of the best ways to get an inside view on studio life from the perspective of the heroes.

Wrapping up

This week wraps up with a reminder that the hero’s journey comes in all shapes and sizes. Heroes from different backgrounds, going in different directions, come together on a united path to share learning. It doesn’t always go smoothly and sometimes our paths take us in different directions, but when young people are trusted to take ownership of their own learning, guided by the right questions, powerful lesson emerge. The world may disagree, but for Heroes Academy, young people will always be deeply trusted to take on their own learning.

Elementary blog for Heroes Academy, an innovative school in Boise, Idaho. We inspire children to find a calling and change the world →