Staff and students brainstorm together put as many ideas as possible down on paper so that we can pool them all together and pull out themes or patterns that will help us determine what a project might look like that interests the student.
If after you have picked a class you are struggling to come up with an idea for a project to complete, we recommend you use the protocol on the right. We do a version of this process often, not always adhering to each step, but keeping the spirit of the protocol in mind. The point is to identify 50 things you can make, build, or do. Even though the protocol could technically be done by an individual, we recommend a small group run through it to give a variety of ideas.
Once a student has an initial idea, it can be helpful to flush out that idea even more. We do this in a variety of ways, but one that we continue to come back to is creating a conversation around the idea by using the phrase yes, and… Many times this helps the student take their idea to places not originally conceived in the brainstorming process. Here is an example. A student wants to create a website helping teachers work with students that have mental health conditions which are impeding their learning. A yes, and… approach would say yes, thats a great idea and we are going to collaborate with the other high schools to create something they can use as well. Yes, and we are going contact someone from the local health department for resources. Yes, and this can become a tool for student to express themselves when they are having difficulty doing so.