Torch - Spring 2017

Some girls became chemists: trying out new recipes for bath products until the perfect consistency was reached. Others researched non-toxic ingredients for nail polish. They all became proficient in creating a pitch for their idea or product. The volume level was high, working cooperatively was a necessity and every second of Form Challenge time was used as the girls were highly motivated by their own choice of inquiry topic. The result? A teacher’s dream classroom!” As Havergal continues to embrace the 2020 vision for a Minds Set Free in Grades 5 to 8, the Form Challenge is yet another example of how we encourage and provide time and space for students to work through their creative ideas.

working diligently on areas in which you are passionate leads to unexpected outcomes and uncovering success that might not have been clear from the beginning. Self-directed learning requires students to think about school in a new way. A.J. Juliani, in his book Inquiry and Innovation in the Classroom , says to teachers and parents: “Even when [a] student spends their time doing nothing, you’ve already succeeded in giving them choice. The next time they’re given choice, maybe they’ll handle it differently.” Form teacher Heather Barr (7D) echoed this in her thoughts on the Form Challenge: “The type of energetic, messy, hands-on, often-chaotic experimenting and learning I witnessed was exponential.

an inspiring talk on her role at Google as Head of Industry: Food & Beverages. Green spoke about the focus at Google on sharing any and all ideas through weekly company-wide meetings and pretotyping, where engineers are encouraged to fail quickly and fail often in a way that allows for more time and resources to be dedicated to iterating improved concepts over time, rather than getting it right the first time. At the end of her talk, someone asked Green what advice she would have for herself as a Middle School student. To this, she stressed that at their stage of life, it often seems like you are on a linear path from A to B to C, where to achieve a specific career goal you must complete clear prerequisites. However, she notes that it’s more often that

Grade 8 students Lauren Anderson (left) and Taylor Machado (right) work on a socially conscious project, recycling milk bags to weave bedding for the homeless in Haiti.

SPRING 2017 • TORCH 35

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