Learning by Doing: The Center for Inspiration, Innovation, and Investigation

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In all of the excitement surrounding the announcement and construction of our new Center for Inspiration, Innovation, and Investigation, there is one question that it is important to address more fully:

“Why?”

Everyday, young people around the world are making a difference in their local, as well as global, communities simply by being supported to imagine new possibilities and to pursue those possibilities.

For example:

William Kamkwamba. Jack Andraka. Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao.

These students are just a few out of many young people who are actively changing the world in which they live.  And this is true for our students at CIS, as well, who have traveled the world with organizations such as Be the Change, who volunteer their time to support local causes, and who use their talents not simply to earn high marks in their classes, but to engage in exciting and fun activities such as science competitions, speech contests, or performing master choral works.  The purpose of the Center is in its name: to inspire students, from ages 4 to 18, to investigate possibilities and innovative ideas.

In the coming school year, students will engage in hands-on learning projects that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  As a college preparatory school with a strong, liberal arts curriculum, the Center offers a way for students to harness their natural inclination to learn and investigate while building important skills such as problem solving, collaboration, and even empathy (more about this in future blog posts).  Just as CIS students are skilled at articulating their thoughts and opinions through rich discussion or passionate prose, designing a lab to test a hypothesis in science, or communicating in another culture with skill and sensitivity, the Center adds an exciting new layer to the opportunities students have at CIS to develop themselves as both thinkers and doers.

In a rapidly changing world where knowledge grows exponentially and old ideas and technologies are rapidly replaced by new ones, the skills that our students learn – skills to diagnose and solve problems; to investigate and innovate; to understand, collaborate, and communicate; as well as practical skills such as coding – are what will remain with them throughout their lifetimes.  And the Center for Inspiration, Innovation, and Investigation will play an important role in complementing the development of these skills at CIS.

We will continue to update this blog as work on the Center progresses during the summer.  Additionally, we will be introducing a resource for parents and students who are interested in pursuing projects and cultivating their own skills as “Makers”.  To get started, here is an interesting article about the Next New World conference hosted by Thomas Friedman.

If you would like to contribute to the Center, either financially or through your own talents, please contact Wally Luther, CI3 Coordinator, at lutherw@cislions.org.

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