Students at Renaissance High had the opportunity to hear from industry mentors during the first iLab Prototype Exhibition November 30.
The iLab program focuses on personal, creative and academic growth. Students use their abilities and talents to develop their creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills. iLab culminates in a Capstone project to present to the school and the community. The iLab Prototype Exhibition is the students’ halfway point in their project.
Industry mentors rotated around the student groups and listened to presentations, offering feedback and suggestions for the students as they move forward. Project topics ranged from creating apps and podcasts to raising awareness of mental health and environmental problems.
“This is a new process for everyone,” said Renaissance High teacher Joylyn Patton. “I couldn’t figure out how to capitalize on the expertise our parents and others have. The Prototype Exhibition is the first attempt at that. The goal is that we’ll just keep growing our pool of industry mentors.”
In the past, Innovation Lab projects have been semester-long instead of year-long efforts. By extending the amount of time students can develop an idea, Patton says it keeps them invested in their work.
“The students came up with their project ideas, and I think that goes a long way in keeping them interested,” said Patton. “That was the whole shift we were aiming for. Once they get that passion and excitement for learning, that translates into other subjects. It encourages self-learning.”