During the month of February, I took two 5th grade classes and two 8th grade classes on a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry to participate in the Black Creativity Workshops. Students were able to participate in an art workshop whereby they explored how an artist was able to construct art exhibits simply using correction tape. In the other workshop, students relied on their creativity to design and developed prototype solutions to urgent science challenges.
One interesting aha moment during the field trip is that I saw that the students were more engaged at MSI than they were when they did projects or activities at school. When I asked a student why she seem to show more interest now than at school, she simply said that at MSI, she was given a chance to “create her own project.”
This spoke volumes to me. It helped me to see that I needed to let go and allow my students to become the leaders in their exploration and creativity . Rather than choose the tasks, I needed to allow the students to have opportunities where they pursue their areas of interest. Teaching in the STEM lab, I have the resources that will expose students to various learning launcher programs consisting of computer graphics or computer programming or design and building, etc. In changing my course of action, students are now beginning to select the projects that interest them. Students are starting to develop develop their own web page, exploring robotics, photo editing, fashion design and other areas of interest.. The interesting component to this is that the students are willing to do the research to learn and develop their project or figure out the math that their project may entail.