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Directed Study Program offered next year

A new class for the 2016-2017 school year allows students to innovate and create.

Ashley Soriano, Editor-in-Chief

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Among the new classes offered next school year is the Directed Study Program facilitated by Deb Salter, English teacher.

The class will be an elective in which rising sophomores, juniors and seniors will innovate projects or products. Salter said,“Directed study is gonna be a passion-based, project-based class where students can choose whatever it is they would like to work on to create something or give back to the community or start a business…”

Successful project examples include redesigning the scooper for athletic and baby formula powders because one student noticed the size didn’t match up with water bottles and powder would get everywhere; another girl noted the obesity problem in correlation with those who are on food stamps, so she innovated a dollar-for-dollar matching company which allows food stamp users to get healthy food from farmers markets by getting more bang for their buck.

These two students joined forces with companies, allowing their goods and services to be more widespread. Although students may not create projects this large-scale, they are expected to innovate a project, find mentors, reach out through social media, make connections with the community and reflect on their progress.

However, a student’s project proposal may not work; a mentor may not get back to them or they may not reach a goal they intended on reaching, but “Part of the learning process of this is that failure is gonna happen, and then how do we get around it? What can we do instead?” Salter said.

A failed project is not the same as failing the class. As facilitator, Salter will track the student’s progress to ensure he or she makes attempts. She said, “You learn more from failure and from struggle and from having to figure stuff out than when things are smooth sailing.” Additionally, students have the option to negotiate their grades–given that attempts have been made.

At the end of the course, students will present their ideas to key stakeholders. Obtaining a contract with companies to sell a proposed product is a possibility. Salter hopes students can gain “real-world application for things they care about. There’s so much genius and creativity and enthusiasm from the kids that are in this school if we just open up the learning and let them do what they love. So much great could come from it.”

Anyone interested can click the link below to watch an in-depth video on the Directed Study class.

To see kids in action in a Directed Studies class, watch this video.

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The student news site of Ola High School
Directed Study Program offered next year