Giving students a chance to capture the smallest chunk (quanta) of learning through collaborative daily challenges.
Tell us about your idea
Our company Impact Connections try to bring the focus of education back on what is most important, relationships.
In the past, school has only captured large chunks of student learning (semester grades, unit tests, etc). We believe that hurts students in many ways. Students aren't given feedback fast enough, they don't understand where they are in their learning journey, and they are forced to focus on high stakes testing that doesn't measure what students have learned. COVID-19 has compounded the problem by taking away the most important aspect of a physical school, community. Social distancing has made it so students no longer see their friends on a daily basis and are yearning for human connection. Families around the world are learning that content can be learned online, but life skills need to be learned and practiced in a community.
The Quanta Challenge will give students daily challenges based on their age.
Elementary students will get math, science, art, and building challenges. The magic of these challenges are that they are difficult enough to keep the students engaged for hours. The challenges are focused on creating so that students don't need to ask their parents for help (giving parents much needed relief). Students will meet together in a morning Zoom call to learn about the challenge and then will be matched up with partners through breakout rooms. This gives elementary aged students a chance to make new friends and learn how to work collaboratively to solve problems in creative ways. They will present their solution when they are finished by recording a short presentation. A panel of judges will choose a winner each day. Students who complete a challenge will get a point, and students who win a daily challenge will get an additional two points. At the end of the summer the students with the highest amount of points will earn a prize (TBD).
High school students need less guidance, more freedom, but still require a solid daily structure. These older students will daily challenges to teach them life skills like journaling, breath work, physical fitness, sleep, healthy diet, limiting social media, and estimating how much money their time is worth. A group of high school student leaders will create the daily challenges for their peers to complete. High school students will build a community on a combination of Slack and Zoom. By doing challenges in a community they will be able to learn more than ever before.
These daily challenges will give students a record of a learning moment each day. This collection of "learning quanta" will paint a much more detailed picture of what students are capable of.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.
After getting my BSEE at JHU and working for a software company, I went back to my high school to start up an engineering program. I felt that I could help change the school system to serve every student. After building a successful K-12 engineering program and earning Teacher of the Year honors, our family decided to move to the East Coast to be closer to my wife's family. At that point I was hired by one of the top private schools to create a new engineering/innovation program. There we decided to create a more integrated program that brought together social entrepreneurship, engineering, and design. The program was fully realized and giving students opportunities to change their world through human centered design, an entrepreneurial mindset, and the technical efficiency of engineers.
Our family began home school at the beginning of 2020, giving us time to prototype and test ideas to improve education for students and families. This work led us to the Quanta Challenge.