One of the learning contexts at HPSS is Projects (Big Projects for Yr 9/10, Impact Projects for Yrs 11+). These projects are student-driven responses resulting in an action, product or resource to provide a solution or innovation to an identified real world challenge.
Today we launched an introductory project to provide a structured scaffolded project to enable new students to understand the processes of the projects strand. The senior students in our hubs who have done projects before are able to develop their skills in taking on leadership roles.
Students need to decide on how to organise their groups, delegate tasks which may include research, design and process/budget management roles.
The initial challenge involves an egg and a perilously steep ramp down the main stairway, namely: to transport the egg safely down the ramp and survive impact with a barricade at the bottom of the ramp. They are given a design brief and a booklet including structure for the inquiry process of designing and constructing the vehicle.
As a project guide, I am there to provide guidance but not answers. The kaupapa of big projects is to allow ākonga the opportunity to take leadership roles, learn to collaborate well, as well as achieving an outcome though their own ingenuity and perseverance.
While in future projects students will elect particular projects to be involved with, the initial one is being done within hubs (mine have decided on boys and girls groups) which provides another good opportunity at the start of the year to build the hub culture and team spirit.