“I am interested in an internship at Edcite because I want to learn new things and skills that will make me a successful person in life.” – Valentina Galdamez, incoming 5th grader at Katherine Smith Elementary
21st century learning aims to push the limits of teaching and student learning further. It hopes to equip students with the skills needed to thrive in our modern world today, skills like collaboration, digital literacy and the ability the problem solve. As our earlier blog post points out, Katherine Smith Elementary School accomplishes this during the school year by teaching solely through Project-Based Learning (PBL). This summer, the KSmith School and Edcite teams are partnering to push this limit even further.
We first met the Katherine Smith School Team at an Edcamp event in January. During a session on PBL, Doris Malmin, a 4th grade teacher at Katherine Smith, explained that her school constantly strives to find new, real-world problems for students to delve into and solve. Coincidentally, Edcite is always looking for problem solvers with a unique perspective to learn from!
Our initial conversations with Katherine Smith evolved into a greater reality than either team had anticipated. Together, we decided to make the most of this incredible learning opportunity and start the first-of-its-kind elementary school internship. Who says that 4th, 5th, and 6th graders can’t be summer interns for a real company? Certainly not us!
The internship will take place over the span of 4 weeks, during which time our 15 student interns will dive into the question: how can Edcite be a better tool for teachers and for students? Students will explore the benefits of various tech tools from both a student and a teacher perspective, while also learning about the challenges of a small startup company. As one of our internship applicants said: “I would love to get to meet new people at Edcite, and help the people improve their website so that it can be awesome, funner, and easier to use.”
To further emphasize real-world problem solving, students will explore these questions using a “design thinking” framework. Design thinking involves 3 key phases — empathy (the stage wherein you recognize a problem), creativity (the stage wherein you brainstorm different ways to solve the problem), and rationality (the stage wherein you analyze which of the creative solutions would be the best fit for your problem). Ultimately, the practice of critically breaking down problems that Edcite might face will help students prepare for the modern, tech-driven world. As incoming 5th grader Valentina Galdamez explained: “I am interested in an internship at Edcite because I want to learn new things and skills that will make me a successful person in life.”
The internship officially kicks off this coming Monday, July 7th. Stay tuned for more blog posts (including some from the students themselves!), adorable pictures, and a better, “funner” version of Edcite! And, a huge thank you to the teachers and principal of Katherine Smith Elementary who had the vision to see the “Jr. CEO” potential in these kids.