Last week, a group of talented, enterprising Year 8 students showcased their CRTL ALT DESIGN projects to an appreciative audience in the finals of this annual design challenge. These students revealed their innovative and creative thinking and a range of newly developed skills in the development in a range of formidable products.
An automated pet food dispenser that was controlled by a mobile phone, an environmentally anxiety blanket and a self-designed and built gaming computer were some of the projects presented. A community ‘little library’ and a ‘quiet book’ created to engage soothe and support young people with autism were other superb innovations.
This Year 8 challenge is part of a sequence of signature learning experiences that are mapped from Year 5 to Year 11 at this School that promote enterprise, stimulate creativity, problem solving and entrepreneurial thinking. Thinking skills is given the deserved focus in the Junior School, Year 5 and 6 engage in passion projects and the mi-space initiative. In Year 7 students learn about what constitutes an entrepreneurial mindset through project work and guest speakers. In Year 9 and 10 students get involved in social enterprises such as Vietnam, Business Law and Government and Citizenship week. Year 11 seniors pool their new skills to tackle the challenging Research Project and Business and Enterprise students have recently developed potential business products.
The School’s Rudolph group have worked on developing enterprise and project-based learning experiences over the past three years and continue to collaborate on developing a framework that ensure a coherent and meaningful program of learning in this space for all students.
Embedded in Australian Curriculum is the key capability of creative and critical thinking. Responding to the challenges of the twenty-first century, with its complex environmental, social and economic pressures, requires young people to be creative, innovative, enterprising and adaptable, with the motivation, confidence and skills to use critical and creative thinking purposefully.
The progressive development of knowledge about thinking and the practice of using thinking strategies can increase students’ motivation for, and management of, their own learning. They become more confident and autonomous problem-solvers and thinkers.
The high-quality, well planned, progressive and clever projects that our Year 8 students revealed last week is a clear indication that our students are truly benefitting from the enterprising learning experiences on offer.