Registration opens March 5, 2018!

If you’re interested in attending Innovation Academy 2018:

  • Talk to your teacher or principal. On March 5th they will receive all needed information to select the students that they will invite to IA 2018. Each school is allowed to select up to 8 students, so talk to them sooner than later!
  • If you’re not one of the 8 selected students per school, fear not! We inevitably have a few spots open at the end of registration and will open registration to ANY SVVSD STUDENTS on May 1, 2018. Stay posted for information on open registration.
  • Mark your calendar for June 4 through 15th for session 1 (Kinder through 2nd grade) or June 11 through 22 for session 2 (3rd through 5th grade)

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Videos for 2017

Please enjoy these videos, made by St Vrain students, highlighting the 2 weeks of the academy for our K-5th graders. Excellent work!!

Session 1 video

Session 2 video

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Media – June 22, 2017

For our last morning session, the Media group began the day with the whole first part of the day to finish up their prototypes. After receiving a lot of feedback yesterday, a lot of the groups made some last-minute changes to make sure their prototype was as good as it can be.  I tried to remind the kids that the design cycle never really ends as products are continually improved through the feedback it receives.

The second half of the day was used to set up for Exhibition tomorrow night.  The great part was that we even had time to do a practice Exhibition with the Communications group so that they had a chance to present to people they didn’t know.  All groups should be prepared to present their ideas to parents and the public tomorrow night at Exhibition.
Remember no morning session tomorrow (Friday), but make sure you come for Exhibition from 6-7 in the evening.

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Cities – June 22, 2017

Day four, was our last day for designing and preparing our projects for the Exhibition on Friday night! Students worked on their final touches for their designs, which also included the creation and explanation of what they did for the whole week!

This process started with their Empathy stage. In their empathy stage students brainstormed problems to solve for different types of characters. Next was the define stage, where students continued to analyze the problems associated with their characters and potential solutions for their problems.

Our third stage Ideate. This is normally where in the design process we would brainstorm ideas for solutions, however our Cities students were so excited and enjoyed their round-table discussions that the solutions to the issues flowed right with the problems themselves. As an adult, I give tons of credit to these students and their creative imaginations. Some of these solutions and designs you all will get to see tomorrow are truly mind-blowing.

The fourth stages of the design process is the prototyping stage. This I believe is the best and most fun stage of our two weeks! We did challenge our students too all include a “simple machine” from last week’s guest speaker Ms. Evans! We really wanted the student to focus on one specific problem, BUT what we did not plan or anticipate for was the drive to provide from the students. Translation…student solved more than just one problem for their designs while still incorporating one “simple machine”,  making it all fun, and electrifying.

Our last stage, the one we worked on completing for today was that of testing/feedback. The two cities groups met up with the two energy groups and worked on presentations with feedback. This proved to be very helpful for all four of the groups, providing each with ideas, questions and suggestions for further improvements in their future designs.

Remember Friday’s Exhibit doors open at 5:55 P.M. at Skyline High School and will run no later than 7:00P.M. These design projects are seriously phenomenal and I can not wait for you all to see them tomorrow.

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Communications – June 22, 2017

We started our last day by having a surprise guest speaker! Ms. Goebel’s daughter, Ali is a Creative Advertising major at the University of Miami. She came to teach us about what is important when advertising a product. We learned many things, including that our logo should be on everything, we should use a color scheme, and that social media is a great advertising tool. After asking many great questions, we began fine tuning of our own advertisement strategies. We made posters and finished our commercials, then completed our design briefs which summarize our work for exhibition. After recess, we set up our exhibition booths and did a mock exhibition with the Media group for feedback, then saw their innovations and gave them feedback. To end the day, we drew pictures of many types of communication for our hallway poster for exhibition. It has been a wonderful two weeks of learning and creativity! Thanks for sharing your kids with us!

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Energy – June 22, 2017

  Hooray! We completed and shared our final design project prototypes today. We also spent time preparing for our Innovation Academy Exhibition that will take place on Friday night at 6pm at Skyline High School. As part of this preparation, each design team arranged a station that displays their prototype and includes a poster that summarizes their design thinking process.  They also rehearsed answering Design Thinking Interview Questions. We encourage children to rehearse answering these  Design Thinking Interview Questions in preparation for our Friday night exhibition.

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Media – June 21, 2017

Wednesday was a full work day!  The kids were able to sleep on their ideas and consider the feedback they received the previous day.  Some groups made major changes, and a couple even changed their question because they worried their question had already been solved or was too technical.

After recess, each group gave a thorough presentation to the class.  They then took feedback from other groups.  This part can be hard after working so hard on something and hearing people critique your design.  We finished with reminding everyone that feedback is what makes ideas and products better and to make sure you consider any feedback with a growth mindset.  How can that comment or question make our project even better?

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Media – June 20, 2017

Tuesday began with a surprise (for the students) visit to interact with 4 types of robots.  Students worked with different types of robots and saw what uses they could have in the future.

The second half of Tuesday involved kids really working on their chosen design challenges.  Groups got their first chance to ideate and come up with prototypes to solve their question.  At the end, all of the groups presented ideas and took a quick round of feedback from the audience.

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Communications – June 21, 2017

Today we began with presenting our prototypes and getting feedback from each other. That helped us to improve what we made a lot! We spent quite a bit of time today polishing up our prototypes. After making our improvements, we learned about marketing our product. We did lots of brainstorming and each group came up with a product name, company name, logo, slogan, and a jingle. Ask your child to share with you what his/her group came up with. There are many fabulous ideas! We put these ideas on to posters to help show off our prototypes at Friday’s Exhibition. We began discussing advertisements before it was time to end today. Tomorrow we will have a surprise guest to help us with our advertisements!

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Cities – June 21, 2017

Day three was a wonderful day for the two cities group and it was the last day for guest tours! Robotics to be more specific.

We all started out with our normal morning routine. Review the new day’s schedule, what we are doing today and what will be going on tomorrow. This is in order for us to help time manage ourselves as well as our group members with completing our design projects. It further helps prepare our students for the closely approaching middle school years (as well as the rest of our lives) where we all need to be more self aware, self responsible, and understand ourselves better! That being said, our two cities groups are phenomenal exemplars of this growing self reliant and self motivated future generation!

Robotics tour was a small 4-sub group tour. So Cities 1 and Cities 2 had to split today in order for us to accommodate guest speaker numbers. Cities 1 got to go first with Mrs. Curtis, while Mr. Atwood’s cities 2 continued their design process working in their groups. Today was an especially fun day in our prototyping classroom because Mr. Atwood decided to play music while we all worked. It got to be even more fun when we started to utilize a “rotating DJ”. Here students signed up for picking songs to play while working. This was something very fun for all of us in the classroom because it displayed individuals in a different light. We got to all know each other a little better through the type of music we all like/listen to/or simply picked for today’s work.


After snack Cities groups did a swap, Mrs. Curtis group got to continue their prototyping while Mr. Atwood’s group went to robotics! At robotics there were 4 different stations for the students to rotate at. One group got to program and play with the IBM robot Watson! The second group worked on simple programing computers with video games, specifically Talia’s programing was humorous. She programed her game to have no end, Personally I thought this was a silly twist! The third group got to experience and work with Sphero balls and iPads. Lastly, the fourth group worked with another P-tech student programing and playing with Cubelets!

One of my favorite quotes from today was from Avery, “THIS IS THE MOST FUN I HAVE HAD THESE TWO WEEKS!” She might have been the most attentive student I have ever witnessed as an educator during these four stations. Leaning forward, politely “shhh” or asking other students “to please be quiet” while she listens. But I do believe her most favorite was driving the Sphero balls around, specifically charging at Mr. Atwood’s feet!

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