Project Invent Summer Institute
This past summer I was selected and invited to attend the Project Invent summer institute as a new mentor. I spent the previous school year (2018-2019) teaching media design at Nanjing International School (NIS) and one thing I missed was stepping out of my comfort zone a bit and exploring different areas of design. Being a media design teacher again has been great for me as I get to share my passion and a previous career in advertising, film and motion graphics. However, all of these areas of design I'm comfortable with and feel I know well. A few students, in their spare time, kept engaging me in conversations revolving around coding, engineering, and industrial design. All of which are areas I have interest in but not the same level of expertise. Thus, I set out to find something and stumbled across a tweet from Connie Liu the founder and director of Project Invent. This eventually led me to the Project Invent website and thinking "this sounds really cool," so naturally I applied to see what would happen and could be.
Fast forward through the application and interview process and a few months later I was on way to San Jose for mentor training. The institute included other educators from the U.S. at a variety of schools, myself being the only international educator.
What I quickly found out is that the majority of the training would be going through the process like a student would - YES FOR HANDS-ON! Another aspect that I found interesting was the location of the training at the Bower Institute. Being able to take a walk outside over to The Tech Interactive, sometimes walking past tech conferences of the latest and greatest, was an inspiration.
Instead of going through the day by day I thought it might be more interesting just to share my notes.
One thing that I thought helped me reflect was the activity of creating a journey map. I felt it was a very safe way to show where I was, what I enjoyed and where I struggled. It was essentially a task to concluded each day and the training as a whole. If you look at the image it also gives you an idea of what went on each day during the training. As you can see from my journey map (pictured below) I was overall on the smiley emoji side and felt like I left with the experience and confidence to lead a Project Invent team of students this school year at NIS.
Coming soon in the next blog post is how we assembled our team and the progress we're making. Also, if you're interested in starting a Project Invent team at your school I highly recommend checking out the free curriculum and applying to be a mentor for your next school year.