Happy Steve

Innovation and Learning

Start with clarity of intent.

Now build it out with an evocative vision. Improvise progress by tinkering: with lots of trial and lots of error. The not knowing is the best bit: the mysteries the surprises, and from time to time the windfalls! 

Hello there, I'm Steve Collis! 

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/GAT Project/ The Rubber Hits the Road!

We've had just 4 lessons in the 'GAT Course' and I am just over the moon. For new readers, the GAT Course is an experimental course in Year 9 & 10 at my school which we are hoping to expand out to be a 200 hour course involving every student in Stage 5. It's experimental, because every student is involved in completely different projects. Read previous posts to get your head around the idea.
When I look around the space
I see...

A student has already constructed a robot from a kit, but next is the challenging part: discover its design principles and then create a robot with similar capabilities from scratch, with home-made parts. I was skeptical at the ambition at first, but the student started describing how he had already made a mechanical hand at home with string and motors.
I suggested he run a hand on robotics demonstration class for Primary students later this year!
I see...


Another student has her heart set on writing a book. This very morning, she tells me, she had a flash of inspiration. She raced to a computer, captured the ideas, and printed them out before running out the door. They're on a folded up bit of paper. So now she's revisiting them; fashioning and forming them.

I suggested we establish a test-readership of 30 or 40 volunteers who could give her gut-reaction feedback on her story. 

I see...

The planning notes and draft document by a student passionate about social justice, and determined to take concrete action to combat slavery. She's recruiting peers to assist her set up a website, and is preparing a school-wide publicity drive to raise awareness and educate our community on how we can act to help the voiceless.

I see...

My colleague Ms Khatchoyan assisting a team to finalise their initial project timeline. They are bouncing ideas around. Her role, and mine, in these meetings, is to throw left-field ideas into the mix. What if we tried to get you on-set for a professional film? What if we tried to market and sell your product? What if we got a professional film director to give you some feedback? 

Ms Khatchoyan will be posting here soon with her thoughts, and I'll post student voices too. 

Here's the thing: as I scan the space I see every student engaged, eager to aim high. There is momentum, movement, excitement. They're focused. They're taking initiative, solving their own problems, getting on with the job.

It's every teacher's dream, and it works because rather than the teacher having to be the engine for everyone, dragging the class forward by sheer force of will and dogged determination, instead every student is bringing their own unstoppable locomotive engine.

And each engine is going in a completely different direction!

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts entitled /GAT Project/ They will appear regularly at this website, categorised under 'GAT Project'. If you'd like to receive future posts, you can:

- click here to subscribe to Steve's blog in general by email, or here in a reader.

- click here http://www.happysteve.com/contact/ and indicate 'GAT Posts Only' in the message body - I'll email you when I update the GAT Project just for the duration of the series.

- or regularly check this link for new posts: http://www.happysteve.com/blog/tag/gat-project