We consistently hear parents say that their children have higher grades, are more engaged in learning, and participate more in class after taking our Study Skills and Innovation classes. Here are more stories of success, along with testimonials from parents and students.
Three Workshop Education inventions were selected to be one of the 154 inventions featured out of 10,000 plus inventions in the 2017 Inventor's Challenge for the Imagination Foundation. These inventions were created during our Inventor's Challenge classes during Innovation Workshop.
Mia Ferdinand (4th grade), of Farallone View, brainstormed new solutions to transportation problems. As Mia presents her Neodymium Hoverboard Invention, you can see the confidence and skills children gain from daily presentations held at the end of each Innovation class.
Keira Klemmick, a kindergartner at Woodside Elementary, showed caring for dogs and attention to recycling with her Dog Toy Invention! Way to go, Keira!
Roy Cloud Workshop students Elizabeth von Bleichert (4th), Charlotte Kriese (6th), and Charlotte Wicks (K) worked as a team on a concept for helping children with homework.
These students created their own recess materials by recycling what they had in their classroom's recycling bin. Here they are enjoying the jump rope that they created during Innovation design thinking class.
We had a student who came into Workshop saying he didn't like science. After just one hour and a half visit from one of the Stanford scientists learning about work on invisibility cloaks, the student declared that he now loved science. And he wants to go to Stanford. What a difference "real life" learning can make.
After attending our Study Skills classes, a parent said, “My child is really enjoying homework!” That was not the case before. A child said, "I like how I can focus on homework. At home, there are too many distractions." We are happy to take something that children can dread, and during Study Skills classes, teach children to better manage the academic side of their lives, so that they feel successful and empowered in this area.
Debbie Sterling, a Stanford graduate, creates award winning construction toys for girls with her company Goldiblox. Our Workshop students tested and gave her feedback to improve an early prototype of one of her products which went on to be a best seller. It is one thing to say that design thinking is an effective way to create new solutions and that engineering can be an amazing career for women. We don't have to say it when all students experience it first hand. This is what we mean when we say, "Education for Life." Experiences like this opens children's eyes to all sorts of possibilities.
The design challenge for an Innovation class was, "How can I make my mom's life less stressful?" Here is one boy's plan to propose to his mom. He says if this doesn't work, he will
redesign the plan. Part of the design process is building empathy, and we love that we see it here. And as one parent said, and many others have echoed, "The children learn things they don't
necessarily learn during their regular school day." As a former teacher, I am very aware of what I thought students needed to be happy and successful, that I didn't have time to
These children work to create products to help those who are blind. Building prototypes strengthens resilience as it is not as easy as it looks. Our students learn patience for detail to keep refining ideas.
One day at Study Skills Workshop, a teacher noticed a student flipping through his textbook. She asked what he was looking for. He said he was looking for the definition of a common term. She said, you know there is an index right? This middle schooler did not. She showed him. He must not have been paying attention when they went over this in 3rd grade, and what a difference this will make in school going forward, and the time his homework takes. This is what we train teachers to do - to be very, very observant and teach individualized study skills that make a difference.
At Workshop, we do not make projects "cookie cutter." We expect children to struggle through them. This day, we were building kites, and this child put 5o holes and 50 strings. The kite collapsed. He began subtracting strings, coping with frustration on each failed flight. When he presented his kite at the end of the day, the student said, "If you build a kite, you only need 4 strings! "This was so hard, but it was worth it," he beamed. Children need to learn to pick themselves up from setbacks and move on. It is why Stanford started a resiliency center. Students used to clear cut paths to success were blown away by more complicated challenges. We see our Workshop children will have the resiliency muscle in spades!