5 Saturdays STEAM 2020 Retrospective
By: Dr. Dave Cornelius
2020 was the year of pivot and innovation. If you did not pivot and innovate, then your vision remained unfulfilled. Otherwise, a new path was established to satisfy some part of your 2020 vision. The 5 Saturdays pivoted and innovated by digitizing the career-focused courses that included: 1) introduction to agile, 2) introduction to coding, 3) career development, 4) entrepreneurship, 5) design thinking, and 6) introduction to Kanban to be available on-demand on the 5 Saturdays website.
We shifted the focus to partner with Dr. Charles Collingwood, the math department chair at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Collingwood served as a 5 Saturdays learning facilitator during the 2019 summer at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Collingwood said:
In 2019, I wasn't thinking about a mentorship program at that time. It was my experience in the 5 Saturdays program that set my mind in that direction. I saw some things that students did, which made me think about that program even more. Those were the things that I saw kids gravitating toward. There are some things that I could use from that program that would make the mentorship program function more effectively. Of all the things available, I chose something called "Job Readiness and Effective Communications" (JREC).
I chose job readiness because a lot of these students want to leave high school. They are off to bigger and better things, such as college, but often the main point is getting a job. The JREC program can allow for these students to go through the steps of what you need to do to get a job, including resume writing. Many students told me that this is the first time they have taken a class that counts for something, and I understand that.
Agile, to me, broadened my perspective on learning. I think I told you that when I saw one part of it. It talks about this company who was trying to develop better sunglasses. They go to the store at that time and collect the data, making adjustments and changes to what they were doing on the spot. That just blew me away – that way of thinking about things!
For me, an Agile mindset is a way in which you think about things, which is important. I learned a lot and will try to apply that stuff as we go into the next semester. In fact, next semester, I want to use other things we learned in 5 Saturdays, breaking my students off into groups and teaching them about what it means to be an entrepreneur.
· Digitizing the career-focused courses, that included: 1) introduction to agile, 2) introduction to coding, 3) career development, 4) entrepreneurship, 5) design thinking, and 6) introduction to Kanban to be available on-demand on the 5 Saturdays website.
· Tucson, AZ (Sahuaro High School): Over 20 students participated in a semester-long program to lean Kanban, agile mindset, and career development.
· Tucson, AZ (University of Arizona – Upward Bound Program): Creating an independent launch of a pod to support over 20 high school students to participate remotely in the 5 Saturdays career development course.
What did not work:
· Onboarding new learning facilitators to lead the 5 Saturdays program globally.
What needs to change:
· Automate the learning facilitator's experience. Allowing them to express an interest in the 5 Saturdays program on the Agile Alliance website and are directed to the 5 Saturdays website to register as volunteers or start a pod in their community.
Listen to the full conversation with Dr. Dave and Dr. Charles Collingwood – Watch the video below.