Deep Learning and Discovery (Year 1, Week 7)
As we enter session 2, many new and exciting changes await the heroes. A new studio layout, new quests (projects), new freedoms, new hero buck store items, and new challenges. While session 1 focused on building the tribe, with all it’s processes and systems, session 2 will focus on deep learning and discovery.
After watching an inspiring video about interesting buildings, the heroes were introduced to their first quest of the year. For this quest the heroes will be in the shoes of architects with the challenge of designing the future Heroes Academy building.
Throughout the week the heroes have undertaken a series of challenges including a campus hunt and blueprint challenge to investigate the way the current building has been designed. They were also challenged with exploring measurement and scale problems in order to prepare for creating their own blueprints next week.
With it’s in depth, real world application, this quest will bring many opportunities to learn to be and learn to do. A few examples being:
- Real world math
- Project Management
- Scaled model building
- Following codes and regulation
- Reading and deciphering blueprints
The energy is high and heroes are engaged, getting ready to exhibit each step of the process (research, design, and construct) in their end of session exhibition. They look forward to industry leaders coming and judging their work at the end of the session.
Studio Hacker Quest
For the younger, nesting heroes, the week started with an inspiring TED talk by Logan LaPlante, who takes you on his journey of quitting traditional education and beginning his “hackschooling.” Much like Heroes Academy, Logan spends his days looking for innovative ways to learn real world skills that will help him on his own journey.
The heroes were then introduced to the “Studio Hacker” mini-quest. Based on the concept of “hacking” as an unusual, creative or innovative way to get something done, nesting heroes will complete a range of “hack challenges” that will help them to operate fully in the studio. The hacks include challenges such as how to copy and paste text, how to use a text to speech website, and how to create and share google docs. This mini-quest will flow into new discovery based projects for younger heroes.
Sugata Mitra won the 2013 TED prize with his “Hole in the Wall” experiments and an incredible TED talk to show his findings. We recommend everyone, especially Heroes Academy parents, watch this video:https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud
Based on the idea of challenging students with big questions and letting them explore, this week we introduced our first official SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment).
The question this week was: Which insect is most dangerous to humans?
The heroes enjoyed researching the question in teams and exploring different theories and ideas. This provided the basis for a powerful discussion. There was high energy and debate on if the Black Scorpion or Anopheles Mosquito was most dangerous. Each side had strong arguments and provided evidence to support their position.
Tuesday was also an introduction to a key element of writing at Heroes Academy: Writer’s Workshop. Writer’s Workshops are part of every session and will help the heroes to learn to love writing and become highly proficient writers.
This session, the focus is creative writing based on prompts. The heroes go through the drafting, peer revision and publishing stages of writing, with each hero having a piece published on this blog by the end of Session 2.
It was wonderful to see the creativity and imagination behind their writing as they formed their stories. The following is this week’s prompt:
“Hello”, said a voice on the phone, “my name is ______________. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but i have been given your name as someone who can help me______________.
Paper Airplane Competition
The schedule for Thursday morning involved a combination of a team challenge and an outdoor experience with our first Heroes Academy paper airplane competition! In two teams, heroes had 20 minutes to research designs and create 5 airplane designs to trial.
Once outside, each team tried their designs and chose which airplane to use in the final competition. Both decided on different designs and after a very close competition, Team 2 (Caden, Kai, Canyon and Arturius) won with a throw of 29ft 8in!
While many of the processes and systems introduced last session, like core skills, are running smoothly, new challenges are accompanied by resistance and trial and error. Many heroes are recognizing the new challenges both challenging and exciting. Some are having struggles working with a long term partner, others working on a long term project. Some are feeling the frustration and struggle that comes with writer’s block, or tasks just outside their challenge zone.
Following the struggles, however, are several moments of individual or group celebration as challenges are overcome and new learnings unfold. The perfect formula for a hero’s journey.