Innovation Academy is one of the best classes offered at BLHS. Not only does it offer valuable, real-life experiences, but students have the opportunity to choose what they learn and create a real change in their community. This class offers a different option of learning, shows students that failing is a part of the learning process and encourages students to become excited and confident about their post-secondary aspirations.
This class is designed to teach skills that are necessary for future jobs. Students learn everything from managing ambiguity to how to budget a business or make connections. Facilitators help students connect their projects to the design thinking process and give students the power to their own learning. Confidence, communication and problem-solving are not easily taught, but through experiential and professionally-based learning, students will understand and have fun in the process.
“IA challenges students in a different way. It’s not hard because the content is advanced, it’s challenging because it incorporates real application of skills needed in today’s ever-changing world. It prepares students for what comes after high school and that’s valuable for everyone,” said Innovation Academy facilitator, Jayme Breault.
But learning these skills isn’t the only upside to taking this class. Choosing what to learn, something they have never been able to do before, is thrilling and new for students. They will want to do their project to learn more about it, instead of just receiving an ‘A’ on a test and forgetting everything right after. Fear of failure holds many back, but when a student chooses what they are interested in to learn, it does not become quite so daunting.
“I wasn’t sure about taking Innovation Academy until I realized I would be able to pick whatever I wanted to learn about. It got me excited to take the class,” said sophomore, Gracie Hermreck. Hermreck was also compelled by the chance to make a real impact on her community through her project.
Through the Innovation Academy class, students can connect what they are passionate about to making a difference. It can be anything from creating a solution for a problem to promoting awareness about important issues. The class allows students to connect with community partners and have a project that creates real change with facilitators who will support them and offer guidance.
“I am very proud of what BLHS is able to offer students through IA and also proud of the students who have gone through this experience,” said Breault.
However, Innovation Academy is no walk in the park. Students are expected to embrace the unknown and fail because it is essential to the learning process. In doing so, students will become more confident in their skills for life after high school. This class is a challenge, but it is also one that is stimulating and rewarding.