I feel compelled to write about an upcoming project at my school. Compelled not only because I am extremely excited to be involved in the project, but also because I want to spread the word and hopefully have more students in Canada participate. Months ago, I came across a tweet regarding the WikiSeat project – essentially an opportunity for students to do the meaningful, hands-on, creative work of making a functional chair given only a “catalyst“. After much discussion back and forth and with much support from WikiSeat founders Nic and Aleric, educators Sean Wheeler and Jared Nichol, and several departments in Surrey Schools, our learning journey begins.
A few weeks ago, the catalysts arrived and my mind has been working overtime since. I’ve been having on-going conversations with teachers on staff and now we are at the point of introducing the project to our students. We’ve quickly realized that we are going to be doing as much problem-solving and learning as our students…and that’s VERY exciting! Questions we are mulling include:
- How do we best promote creativity? How much do we let student struggle?
- How much information do we actually share with students? Do we tell them they are ‘supposed’ to make a chair or do we leave the project open-ended? In other words, how much steering do we do?
- Do we leave it to students to supply (all) their own materials?
- How do we ensure student safety given they will need to use tools at some point in their work?
- How will students document and share their learning?
- Where will students do their work?
- What will the showcase at the project’s conclusion look like?
Essentially, being WikiSeat rookies, we don’t know what we don’t know. But what I do know is given our staff’s openness to innovation and foray into Genius Hour, I’m confident the seeds of the WikiSeat project have landed on fertile ground. I hope you follow us on our journey!
Antonio, that is one very cool project. I can’t wait to hear how it turns out.
Me too Karen. This is the sort of thing I would have jumped at as a classroom teacher. So many opportunities for all learners! We hope to lead the way for more Surrey schools to participate in future years.