Fostering Innovation Through G100

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The Yew Chung International School of Beijing is equipped with a plethora of resources and facilities to support the School’s mission of fostering innovation as well as creativity. The ever-changing technology landscape and the numerous devices we use daily confirm the importance of endorsing innovation and get ready for an unknown future. With the goal of inspiring students to positively impact the world and overcome the challenges of their generation, initiatives such as the G100 Project are created to encourage them to embrace innovation while offering them the opportunity to also work on their passions.

For the past three years, Michael Manktelow, current G100 Co-ordinator, and his team, have led the programme and mentored students during the different stages of their innovative projects, offering advice where needed. “G100 is time for students to work on their passions in a constructive way, with a focus on the learning process and the journey they take to the product they create. Products are created for a specific audience, either to educate, raise awareness or solve a real-world problem”  Michael states.

In addition to giving detailed thoughts and clearly defining the purpose of their product, students also develop skills which will be useful not only in academic settings, but outside of the school environment as well. “We have done a variety of G100 projects over the past 2 years ranging from: passion projects, projects that build collaboration, projects that focus on presentational skills, a wellness conference to developing a new skill.”  he said.
 
We had a more detailed conversation with Michael about why projects like these are pivotal and strategies for parents to support their children.


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Why is it important to foster creativity and innovation?
Children are innately creative, but sometimes schools can limit opportunities to be creative, so G100 gives students a chance to continue being creative in a structured and safe environment. Where their creative ideas are nurtured and developed, students can create products that teach others something, raise awareness of a particular issue they are passionate about or solve a real-world problem.

How does the school support students throughout the process?
The teachers work with the students every week and help the students realise what the outcomes of their projects will be and guide the students through the process; from their initial question to a final product. Supporting them through what we call their ‘Learning Journey’ we do not just focus on the final product, the process the students go through are also important and shared.

When do students work on their projects?
We have two periods a week on a Friday morning when students can work on their G100 projects. Depending on the size of the project, students will also do work outside of school.


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How do you pair/ group students together for a project?
For this time, we gave students choice whether they wanted to work individually or in pairs. On other occasions, we usually give student free choice who they work with, sometimes we require them to report their groups to their mentors and if we feel the grouping might not work we would ask them to reconsider their group or assign groups if working on a specific project. We also give students the opportunity to work across year levels

How can parents support students?
I think that parents can support students at home by simply having conversations at home about their projects. Find out your child’s driving question, ask them how they are going to achieve their goals, what are your goals for this project, what deadlines have you given yourself, etc

Well done on the first presentation of students’ passion projects. We look forward to the next one later in the year!


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