SLOJD Workshop: Day 02 Recap

After a successful first day, our participants were ready to hit the ground running for day 2 of 6 at SLOJD, verynice + NRBLB’s workshop to explore the role of creativity in high school education. Shortly after arriving at SESO’s corporate offices (where the remainder of the workshop will take place), our participants drank wine, ate a lot of pizza, and got back into their small groups.

Working together, each small group was prompted to sift through each of the 100 ideas they rapidly dreamed up the night before in order to select their top 3 directions. Each small group was advised to select ideas that did the following:

  1. Re-imagine the role of creativity in algebra and biology
  2. Leveraged unique points of intersection that included a context and a methodology
  3. Evoked a sense of curiosity that shows clear room for discovery and experimentation.

After selecting the three best ideas, each team took the post-its off of the wall and migrated to an assigned desk in the middle of the room to discuss the depth of each concept. While the night before was all about quick ideation, the focus of this evening was to begin to reflect about these concepts on a more sophisticated level. Thanks to one of our sponsors, SparkFun, participants were introduced to the first suite of material constraints: DIY hardware kits! These kits included the Makey Makey device, conductive paint, a paper robot kit, and an array of other funky technological matter. 

After familiarizing themselves with the tools provided to them, each of the four teams were prompted to use their devices as a means of further exploration into the potential of one or more of the three ideas they selected from the mess of post-its.

For 2 hours, each small group worked intensely on a series of prototypes that explored different components of their concepts. Instead of simply taking an idea executing upon it, we challenged each team to dissect their ideas in order to tease out several components of each idea that were capable of being tested and iterated upon. As a result, we created an environment that celebrated learning through making and serendipitous discovery.

In the final 20 minutes of the day, we revealed to the four groups that we were now merging them to become 2 large groups. These will be the final groups for the remainder of the workshop. The 2 groups began their conversation by critiquing each concept in order to bring more depth to each idea through a fresh perspective.