Launch of Innovation Box Cohort

Last month Innovation Box was launched with two days of training in a New Hampshire school district with six participants (five teachers and one board member).  Over the course of the two days the participants framed their challenge, developed solutions, and shared prototypes of how their solution.  The participants included, a second-grade teacher, middle school social studies teacher, two middle school health and wellness teachers, an alternative high school social studies teacher, and a board member. 

The theme for the two-day Innovation Box launch was that we want to behave more like the Wright Brothers and less like Samuel Langley.  You can read more about this contrast here, but in short, let’s learn what works in our local context by completing numerous low-cost experiments designed.   Innovation Box is designed to solve two problems in education: (1) the solutions to our local problems come the outside and rarely take into consideration local context.  (2) When we do implement new solutions we rarely what is working until something fails. 

Over the two days the participants framed their individual classroom problems as How Might We (HMW) questions, researched and developed solutions, prototyped their ideas, and obtained feedback.  By the end of the second day the teachers had started prototyping ideas that could be tested in their classroom.  Below is a picture of a teacher sharing her prototype for a “station” that would be setup in her health class to provide students with food or supplies that they may be lacking which may be contributing to stress or anxiety in school.  Now, two weeks into the school year, the participants are collecting baseline measures (e.g. food insecurity, classroom engagement, attendance, comfort with writing) and beginning to test their ideas with actual students.  Over the next month or so, participants will have evidence regarding whether their idea is working and be faced with whether to iterate or change their approach entirely.