Get Invested: Case Studies in Innovation
- Dr. Lauren Silver,
Vice President of Education,
Computer History Museum
- Central County Occupational Center,
Metropolitan Education District,
San Jose, CA
- Academica de Informática
of the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM),
About the Program
The seed for the Get Invested program comes from our two-hour high school workshop for grades 9-12, Case Studies in Innovation. In Get Invested, teams of students use historical inquiry to identify contemporary issues related to technology and to propose innovative solutions to problems those issues raise. In 2011-2012, students participated for five months identifying and researching issues and exploring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills and principles as they intersect with non-STEM disciplines, such as history and language arts. Get Invested is a project-based curriculum that engages students directly in the application of 21st century skills and entrepreneurial thinking. The program culminates in a formal presentation that requires student teamwork, insight, strategic thinking, and collaboration. Get Invested blends best practices in formal and informal learning to create a dynamic curriculum for high school students.
Get Invested is implemented in three phases: Innovation, Inquiry and Problem Solving, and The Pitch. In the Innovation phase, students consider the concepts, challenges, opportunities, and processes involved in creative problem solving; working in small teams, they identify global and community-based challenges that they want to address. During Inquiry and Problem Solving, students explore the Museum's collections to gain an understanding of STEM concepts as they have been innovatively applied throughout the history of computing. In the final phase, students craft written and oral proposals for tech-based solutions to the issues they identified earlier, joining together to present formal pitches to Silicon Valley venture capitalists who provide feedback about the technological and financial viability of their proposed innovations.
Outcomes and Evidence
Get Invested promotes STEM knowledge, skills, and attitudes with career-inspiring outcomes. Pre-project surveys assess students' familiarity with technology and the creative process, as well as their academic and career goals before participating in the program. Throughout the program, teachers provide key information about their teaching practices, including technology-based instruction and the integration of informal learning into classroom curricula. A summative evaluation is underway to measure how program implementation and structure leads to student engagement and progress toward program goals, impact on students’ long-term school and career choices, the role of institutions and individuals in encouraging STEM learning, and teachers' blending of formal and informal teaching practices.
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