How can we create a space for effective and meaningful outdoor learning at our school?
The goal of this project is for students to put their entrepreneurial creativity to work in transforming an unused wooded area on school property into an outdoor learning and community-building space for the community. The class will begin by collaborating in gathering data from students and teachers, setting criteria and creating a “grand vision” which addresses the driving question, above. This might be a nature trail, outdoor learning stations, an outdoor classroom, etc. Then, the class will be separated into “design teams” to workshop ideas for implementing the “grand vision” within the criteria they’ve set. Intra- and inter-team feedback sessions will culminate in a design presentation day, in which the class decides on which design elements to incorporate into the final product.
The project then shifts gears into identifying and acquiring the resources required to undertake the students’ entrepreneurial venture. This will include land assessments, permits, setting a budget, and sourcing materials, skills, and labour. Students will prepare and present a proposal to the Head of School and Board of Governors in order to seek approval and financial investment for the project, then get started. Once complete, the class will hold a grand opening of the outdoor learning space for peers, teachers, and the wider community. They will reflect upon their work by conducting a survey for peers and teachers on how well the final product fulfills the class criteria.
CONNECTIONS AND PERSPECTIVES:
Through this project, students will gain an appreciation for entrepreneurship as a means to resolve problems in, and make a positive impact on, their community. This project incorporates key components of taking an idea from conception to completion, and exposes students to many risks and obstacles that entrepreneurs encounter (and must develop resilience to overcome). Students will be challenged to work effectively in a project team, and to appreciate the diversity of skills, talents, and perspectives their peers have to offer. Through the assessment, proposal, and acquisition stages, students will form connections with professionals within and without the school community who have experience in completing capital projects, managing a project budget, and seeking financial support for an entrepreneurial venture.