Timeline of the Synnovation Lab
July 2016 - PBL Institute - Framework developed by Andrew Wheatley and Ashley Warren
August - December 2016 - Teacher Advisory Committee, Student Advisory Committee,
Parent Advisory Committee
October 2016 - Board Meetings; District Office Discussions; Approval of Lab
December 2016--Teachers apply
February 2017--Teachers identified
Spring 2017-- California Visit and Deeper Learning
Summer 2017--Teacher planning, group planning; PBL training
Year Long--Teacher plan time, monthly meetings
August - November 2017 - Parent Information Sessions @ Junior High and High School
November 2017--Students apply for 2018-2019
December 2017--Students notified
March 2018--Eminence school visit
April 2018--Yellow Springs school visit
May 2018--HCESC Innovation Showcase
Summer 2018--Teacher planning, group planning, presented at High AIMS and Learn 21
August 2018--Synnovation Lab Opens, first round of Student Led Conferences
September 2018--present at NKU STEM
November 2018--Students apply for 2019-2020; First "Sweets in the Synn Lab"
December 2018 - Review of Lab progress with Board by student panel; Site Visits: Wyoming, Lakota, Mason, Indian Hill
January 2019--Students notified, present at ACT, Individual student conferences, #GetontheBus visit
February 2019--Superintendent of schools visit
March 2019--Parent Shadow experience, #GetontheBus visit
May 2019--Synnovation Lab at the STEAM Showcase with first round of PBL Projects
August 2019--Synnovation Lab 2.0 Launch, student led conferences, Teacher Teams launched
September 2019--Visit to Miami Western Program and UC Langstrom Libarary
October 2019--Project Pitches before community
December 2019--Students apply for 2020-2021, Restructuring of internal RTI process
The Synnovation Lab opened in the fall of 2018 to roughly 50 freshmen and 50 sophomores that were chosen by application and to match the student demographics of Sycamore High School.
It is an understatement to say, "We learned a lot that first year".
Our first problem was how to know our students and where they were supposed to be--we had 100 students we didn't know who needed to leave for classes and come back. Who are they? When were they supposed to be in the lab?!
A freshman student took the problem head on and created a program that is time based and changes with the bell schedule that tells us (on a big board) where the students should be according to their schedule. Then he added a feature to allow students to check in and check out as a hall pass system. It also allowed us to take daily attendance without calling out the roster of 100 names! This eventually became his PBL and he has begun marketing similar systems to other local schools.
Then we needed to launch our PBL (Problem Based Learning) Elective. How can we train and manage 100 different projects?!
Mrs. Underwood, Dr. Warren and Mrs. Conatser created a number of training sessions and protocols to help teach the students about the Design Thinking method, used by Stanford's D.School. The students chose a project they wanted to research to help impact the community and eventually presented at the STEAM Showcase in May 2019.
Oh, and how do you track student progress in a variety of courses with students who are moving at an infinitly diverse rate?!
We started using the same system as the rest of the district (Progress Book) to track grades and Blackboard/Google Classroom to give content. In the Spring, our English and History teachers tested another system called MyLC. For the 2019-2020 school year we used Schoology for content delivery, assessment, and progress monitoring because it also gives parents access to see student work, progress and grades. To supplement that, we have created a progress monitoring sheet that has all students listed (with their courses) and a code for if they are ahead of pace, on pace or behind pace.
Probably the best method, though, was student emails home. Through our teacher teams, the students email home their process and copy their teachers and their counselors so their support structure hear from the student on how they are learning, successes and concerns.
In the fall of 2019, we added roughly 50 more rising Freshmen and the previous 100 matriculated.
As of the Fall of 2020, we will be represented by all four grades at Sycamore.