See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up… (Isaiah 43:19)
The Kingdom is all about new things. The Kingdom is all about springing up and blossoming. As heroes immerse themselves in all things innovation, they are starting to see the reality of this declaration documented by Isaiah.
Mr. Randy said, “I think I have the coolest job ever,” as the heroes hung on his every word. “I get to imagine what could be and then invent it with our 3D printer.” The “ooohs” and “aaaahs” with each printed piece felt like the 4th of July had come to Journey in March.
Mr. Randy had come with Ms. Heidi to share about their journeys as innovators at Amway, our neighbor. As Ms. Heidi oversees the land that Journey Academy is located upon, she asked the heroes for their insight into how to steward the land well, especially after their Field Study this fall. This type of real world learning is a marker of Journey Academy’s approach to learning.
As I gave an after school tour to a potential hero and his family, I asked, “what do you like to do?”
“Build things” was his immediate response.
To bring into reality, something that is not is following in the footsteps of our Creator. As heroes go old school and pull out the K’NEX, they are getting into the granular side of innovation. Mr. Chris (Miss Cheryl’s brother) came in for a hero talk about his innovation journey with K’NEX. He shared about using K’NEX since he was five years old and how it continues today with his four-year-old daughter.
As the heroes watched, Mr. Chris demonstrated his various drafts of a ball thrower for his dog, reminiscent of a catapult. He took them throw his early failures all the way to his final draft, pictured above. As he was demonstrating, Elias, in a well known stage whisper, called out to Ms. Sarah “He’s doing prototypes!” These real world connections help what can be clunky vocabulary like empathy and prototype click for heroes young and old.
Jonathan made the historical connection as Mr. Chris wrapped up. “They used this in the Middle Ages to attack castles.”
“And now I’m using it to keep my dog busy,” quipped Mr. Chris as he inspired the heroes to engage in prototyping of their own for their upcoming quest on innovation.
Innovation continues throughout our day. As I was ducking into the Elementary Studio, I saw Miss Cheryl and Holden having a guide conference when all of sudden Holden erupted into a celebration dance. I later found out when he came to me with a proposal that he had discovered Helperbird, a tech extension designed to make the web more accessible and productive for readers that need some support like Holden. He knocked on my door and advocated for himself, making a pitch why Helperbird would be useful for Journey. He was persuasive and we’ve gotten the extension for our school. With a variety of supports in already place, this kind of learner-driven innovation is what makes Journey such a special place. Owning his education, Holden has come to know what he needs and figure out how to leverage that support.
Finally, this picture of the whiteboard in my office might not suggest new things at first glance. But Thursday lunches this session have seen me hosting the older heroes for lunch as we start to dream about the Intermediate Studio next year. Over the years, I’ve dreamed about education in a multitude of ways, failures and successes. This is my first chance to co-create with ten, eleven and twelve-olds and I’m quite certain this is the way that innovating for education should be.
In one translation of Isaiah, the word is “Behold” rather than “see.” It seems most appropriate as I survey the new things springing up in our midst.
May we all behold!
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