#ConnectionsThatMatter: A special thank you to NeoCity Academy and Osceola School District for making this story possible and sharing related Lumio activities for teachers everywhere to tap into - for free.
Students at NeoCity Academy embrace failure as they solve real-world problems.
Students at NeoCity Academy are encouraged daily to look at the world around them to find problems they need to solve.
One group of students found a problem directly outside their classroom window. For months the students watched as city employees kept tearing down an osprey nest that made the facade of a local building look messy. It frustrated the students to watch the efforts of the osprey thwarted over and over again.
So, with the encouragement of their teacher Scott Grieve, the students got to work. After taking measurements of the habitat and building, the students presented alternative solutions at a county board of directors meeting.
“They are in the process right now of working with the county to build a nesting box for those birds, to put them in a place that's more constructive,” Grieve said.
This is par for the course at NeoCity. The school’s emphasis on problem-solving beyond the walls of the classroom has created a culture where asking questions and taking risks are the norm.
Partnerships with local research institutes, daily research block periods for exploration, and digital portfolios are a few of the ways that NeoCity fosters the innovative spirit that inhabits so many of its students.
Assistant principal Justin Seabolt says that a culture of risk-taking has been an intentional approach on the part of school staff.
“That's just part of the culture that we've built,” he said. “We definitely don't want to smother the ideas that they have. We want them to be comfortable enough to come to us and say, ‘Hey, I want to do this thing.’”
Check out some of the problems Neo City students are tackling and what they’ve learned about failure along the way.
This story is part of #ConnectionsThatMatter, a global initiative to highlight the pioneering ways educators are building and strengthening connections that foster learning, including connecting students to real-world problems, investing in social-emotional learning, and building deeper ties between school and home.
As part of this initiative, selected schools share lesson activities and resources that strengthen connections among peers, between educators and students, and between families and the classroom. The lessons are available for free in the Connections that Matter collection within Lumio, named the "best education collaboration software for teachers."