Although the stakes are not as great as what MacGyver encountered on his weekly adventures, our building challenges in the Discovery and Learning Centre are just as innovative. Imagine what happens when you turn to a group of elementary students and ask them: What can you build using LED lights, cell batteries and wire? Students work through engineering challenges, invention stations, tinker with found materials, 3D doodling, and taking apart electronics and toys. Each student becomes more creative, inventive and resilient. And while students are encouraged to build their capacity and competencies, our DLC norms – that I have shamelessly, gleefully, and gratefully borrowed after a wonderful week at Telus Spark’s Shift Lab last summer– shape the work we do, the support we give each other and the possibilities that this space offers our students. Here they are:
- We are all beginners, learners and experts at different things. Let people be beginners and find their own solution.
- Give everything a try, at least once.
- We are in a safe, respectful, space… take advantage of it.
- Lean in to being uncomfortable.
- Embrace risk taking.
- Fail positive.
- All ideas are shared build off them.
- Assume positive intention.
- Celebrate every stage of the learning loudly.
Remember, as Thomas A. Edison said, “To invent, you need is a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
Michelle Chastko is a Learning Leader at Simons Valley Elementary School and is a huge fan of MacGyver.