St. Mary's An IB World School

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Innovation Learning Design

Learning from our mistakes is a valuable lesson that can fuel innovation. Grades 5 and 6 participated in a design thinking experience that challenged them to not get embarrassed by their mistakes and embrace them and try again to make something better. Our guest, Ariel Raz, a learning experience designer challenged students to try some exercises with a partner to see how they felt when they—messed up. At first, they might get disappointed or embarrassed so the next time, Mr. Raz, asked them to act like a clown does at the circus and embrace their mistake with a “ta-da.” The students had so much fun when they made a mistake and kept trying the exercise more frequently.

Next, students were challenged to the Spaghetti Marshmallow Challenge. Each team of students had the same amount of supplies and were instructed to build the tallest structure possible in 18 minutes. The outcome of the experiment is to learn from their mistakes early as part of the learning experience to build a taller structure.

Finally, Mr. Raz, gave students a real-life problem students worked on at Stanford University. The problem was to save the lives of premature babies in Nepal. His real life example gave unexpected hurdles the students faced about the geography, culture and beliefs of the people they met to find a solution. In the end, the third product the students made worked and has saved over 500,000 lives.

Mr. Raz, challenged students to think of innovation as a process, it is not an event or product but an action that grows stronger over time, like a muscle.

We would like to thank Global Education Connection-GEC Academy for sponsoring these learning events. GEC Academy has been partnered with St. Mary's to develop a Chinese student exchange earlier this school year.