Thanks to Dave Zinsman for the logo and name!
What problems does this solve?
- Students are unaware of the wide range of career opportunities available to them.
- Even if students are aware of career options, they might not actually know what skills and activities those jobs entail.
- Internships are a great way to get career experience, but they are difficult to get. How can we expose high-school students to career opportunities on a smaller scale?
Preflight workshops give students design-thinking skills that will be relevant regardless of the path they choose.
Here's how the challenges go:
- Organization representative comes into the classroom and gives background on the type of work they do and the type of skills they use. See the graphic above for some examples of organizations who could be involved.
- The representative lays out a design-thinking challenge with the class, involving the type of work done in the organization. See the graphic above for some examples.
- In the following days, the teacher guides the class through the steps necessary to solve the challenge.
- On the final day of the project, the professional returns. The students present their ideas and recieve feedback.
- Finally, the professional gives some next steps for those interested in that type of work. This could involve research, community organizations to check out, classes to take, or even internship opportunities.
User Experience Maps!
What’s the value for John, the marketing manager?
- John deals with young people, as customers and product users. The workshops offer a chance for him to connect with current and future customers and learn about their values.
- John gets a chance to excite and inspire the next generation of about his work and build a positive reputation among his company's possible future employees.
- John gets fresh opinions and insights about overarching challenges he faces.
What’s the value for Sally, the English teacher?
- She gets to connect her curriculum to the real world, making school relevant and boosting student engagement and learning.
- Her students practice relevant problem-solving and creative skills that will help them succeed in their future
- She helps to inspire students to pursue work that excites them
- She gets experience with the design-thinking framework, which can help her tackle a variety of other challenges she faces as a teacher
What’s in it for Greg, the student?
- Exposure an exciting career option and knowledge about the type of work
- Practice using universally relevant design-thinking skills
- Opportunities to build a connection with a professional and explore follow-up options for the industry
Professional Empathy Map: Big thanks to Bettina for all of this feedback!
Here are the survey results, out of 20 people:
- 50% "Yes"
- 25% "Maybe"
- 25% "No"
The respondents were overall interested in the idea. One interesting insight is that their participation may hinge on whether they were hosting a challenge as a favor to someone they knew. If schools reached out to their parent network, this could make professionals more likely to come on board. Some professionals wondered if youth would even be interested in their work.
The feedback was very positive, and I am confident that there is a large pool of professionals willing to share their passion with students!
Click the picture to view it larger!
Teacher Empathy Map: Based on feedback from school staff, teachers and OpenIDEO community members, I've compiled an empathy map from the perspective of the teacher.
Teachers and school administrators were very excited about the idea. The biggest challenge would be fitting the challenges into a crowded school schedule. But, everyone agreed that bringing in a professional to host an educational challenge is a fantastic way to learn. The problem of class time could be solved by modifying the challenge approach. See this document for the approaches.
Click the image to view it larger!
- Test in a school!
- Develop a website with teacher training videos, challenge resources, and a thorough explanation of the whole process
- Pursue partners for implementation and scale
Scale: How can we spread this idea?
Stage 1: Planning and testing (almost completed)
Develop the idea and spread the word. Have conversations with all three stakeholders and develop a plan for implementation at my school. Reach out to professionals who can test this in thier area.
Stage 2: Running local challenges
With a solid plan and a school to test, we can run a few challenges in different classes. The challenges can again be refined to make them more scalable.
Stage 3: Scaling to new schools
Using the results from the early Preflight challenges, we can pursue partners to spread the idea and develop a time framework for a successful challenge. Possible partners could include Teach For America, Classroom Inc, The Cooper Hewitt Museum, or another large corporation with many city offices. These partners could reach out to schools in their area to host challenges. I believe that having professionals and organizations directly contact schools is the best way to spread the idea and convince schools to get involved.
What metrics can be used to measure the program's success?
# of student participants
# of challenges
# of professionals
# of projects completed
# of different schools
Student stories can also be a powerful way to measure impact.