Haystacks and Moonshots

By June 9, 2017 Academics

“Sometimes it’s the haystack you need to find, not the needle!” Finding big and important problems that are important to solve was the focus for this year’s Deep Learning Week, which has produced some quite remarkable student learning and thinking. We have had the great pleasure of working with NoTosh who are global experts in design thinking. The team of Ewan Mcintosh, Ian Stuart and Kynan Robinson helped us look for and find problems that cause us pain, annoyance and are worth solving. We were taught to look everywhere, create pretotypes and prototypes and then Ewan took us through the process of selling an idea. Crucially we have learnt the design process of immersion, synthesis, ideation, prototyping and pitching. Working with the girls through each step I have seen a change in their, and my, thinking and approaches to learning. We as teachers have learnt with them and been challenged by them.

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Ewan McIntosh, CEO of NoTosh listens to student pitches (click to play video)

As I listened to their pitches and was asked to give “specific and friendly” feedback, I was overwhelmed by the sophistication of the ideas and the solutions to problems which are based on the world in which our girls live and will be part of in the future. Watching them take tough feedback about their solutions from both Ewan and Kynan who do the same with global companies I was struck with the comfort our girls had with this adult world and just how desperate they were to improve. It is clear that to the girls nothing is impossible and their “Moonshot” ideas may well become the reality of tomorrow. The process was frustrating, overwhelming, immersive and utterly exciting. I would love to divulge more about their prototypes but should not for fear of infringing on future copyright! However, please ask your daughters to share with you their learning and the ideas that may shape the future world in which we all live.

I would like to take a moment to thank the girls for their energy and resilience and look forward to them pitching their ideas and potentially taking ideas to market. From Haystacks to Moonshots! Quite a week.

~ James Whitehouse, Deputy Head, Middle and Senior School

About Elmwood.ca

An independent International Baccalaureate (IB) school for outstanding girls JK-12, Elmwood has been inspiring girls to reach their full potential since 1915.