Educators are encouraged to discover how they can connect the Learning Studio with other individuals and organizations in their local community. Partnerships between the Learning Studio and the community give students an opportunity to use their problem-solving skills for an authentic user and purpose.
As a first step, consider creating a partnership between the Learning Studio and the immediate school community. One possibility is to have students design solutions for their school’s maintenance needs. For example, Traci Chun, Learning Studios educator at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington, shares how a student from the Learning Studio and a member of the custodial staff collaborated to find a solution for a broken magnet doorstop in the school’s building.
You may want to create a process that makes it efficient and easy for such partnerships to happen. One way to do this is by setting up a “Problem Bank.” The Problem Bank is a collection of maintenance and other design problems submitted by the local community to student designers in the Learning Studio. The students receive design requests from people in their community and work together to produce solutions, according to the level of difficulty of the design. Rich Lehrer, Innovation Coordinator at Brookwood School, set up a Problem Bank with students at his school. Watch highlights from his webinar, Problem Bank, for more insight:
How do you envision your students creating meaningful relationships and making an impact on the local community? You are encouraged to be creative in thinking about how the Learning Studio has a reach outside of the Studio walls.