Project: 2017 Tackling Real World Problems Professionally

Teacher: Julie Silipo
School: Mapleton Early College
Location: Thornton, Colorado USA
Start Date: 01/19/2017
End Date: 05/19/2017
Project Plan
Unique Requests of
Participating Mentors:

We are looking for mentors who can serve students as mentors AND provide funding through their company's Dollars for Doers program. Mentors from Thomson Reuters, Merck, HP Enterprise, Google, Intel and any company that allows a mentor to log their time, resulting in funding for this program are welcomed. If you'd like to make an employee contribution of just $25.00 per month, we welcome you from any company, allowing us to serve two students in the future, assuming your company will match your donation. We are especially interested in working with mentors interested in helping a student in the following areas: 1. Efficient and successful research and connecting with experts in the student's area of interest. 2. Supporting a student to iterate on his or her work with challenging, but supportive critique from the mentor. 3. Learning how to accept feedback from professionals, incorporate that feedback to improve student work and thank professionals in a heartfelt, professional way. 4. Close the gap weekly between the current state of work and the bar of quality the student set based on industry standards of excellence. 5. At the end of the project, identify any remaining gaps and what is necessary to fill them.

Description:

Students will receive help from a mentor to identify the issues that keep top professionals up at night in the student's area of interest. Students will then work with a mentor to develop a proposal for a real stakeholder (industry professional, for example) to solve a challenge in the world. There will be plenty of iteration (student draft, mentor feedback, stakeholder feedback, new student draft), supporting the student to develop all of the critical professional skills necessary to be successful now through post- secondary and into full time professional work.

Benchmarks:

Include key benchmarks that MEC uses for student work.

Duration:

14

Grade Level:

9

Content Area:

Science, STEM, math, engineering, professional writing, arts.

Student Outcomes:

Students will learn how to tackle an issue professionally, keep stakeholders in the loop, identify and fill gaps along the way to meet industry standards and share any remaining gaps at the end of the project, noting the difference between the final state of student work and where industry set the bar of quality for the work.

Evaluation of
Student Outcomes:

The students and teacher will be clear up front regarding what they want to accomplish, how the mentor support will be leveraged, how and where the bar of quality will be set and clear benchmarks along the way. Examples of excellence will be researched and used to guide the quality of work. All projects proposals will be vetted by mentors and other industry experts. The teacher won't set the bar of quality but will facilitate and support her students to set the bar based on industry standards. This will result in much higher levels of student work and engagement.

Teacher Role:

Teacher's Role: The teacher will facilitate the entire project, keeping the mentors informed weekly regarding what's working, what isn't, and sharing examples of excellent student/mentor collaboration. The teacher will also support students to set the bar of quality for their work based on industry standards and support students to close the gap between the current state of their work and that bar.

Mentor Role:

Mentor's Role: Mentors will support students to take a general or specific interest, determine who the top professionals are who share that interest and are doing work in that area. From there, the mentor will guide the student to determine what challenges these top professionals face, discuss those challenges and help the student pick on that he or she is interested in and can tackle given time and resource limitations.