In what ways has your classroom collaborated with both the local and global community? What does collaboration within school walls look like? What needs to happen in schools to incorporate & support partnerships as an aspect of the curricular program?
My school has a “partnership collaborative” coordinated by me and three other teachers. We look to build partnerships and infuse them across the curricular program - particularly within Design Thinking challenges. We look for opportunities to partner and approach teachers where the partnership may fit. We also find partnerships based off of teacher requests and the four of us meet during a regularly scheduled planning time every two weeks. We also maintain a database of our work within Google Drive.
|Ellis Engineering Students visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo|
- We worked with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in our ninth grade Voice and Vision (V&V) class on the "Panther Hollow Lake Extravaganza," along with other projects in our lower and middle schools where girls are "EcoStewards." In the V&V class, the girls created an awareness campaign around prevention of pollution at the lake, QR code stickers and twitter accounts as a part of the campaign.
- In another activity we developed artificial limbs in the upper school engineering course through our partnership with the Quality of Life Technology Center and were awarded the top solution among all schools participating.
- We worked with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (School of Medicine) to remix and “hack” a flu study (SMART) at our school to identify a solution to decrease spread of flu at Ellis. Girls are iterating on process or products that will limit the spread of flu, interviewed other students, created stakeholder maps and used several other Design Thinking methods from the LUMA Institute system.
- Right now we are also doing two Design Thinking challenges with the city and port authority as a part of the Pittsburgh Big Data Jam - one project around public transportation and its correlation to assaults and one related to crime correlated to lack of green space.
|Stakeholder Maps for the Ellis Flu Prevention Project|
Ellis students gain leadership skills, learn to be strong collaborators and create real solutions for partners across the city. Here is a list of some our current curricular partners:
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC)
Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab
Quality of Life Technology Center
The Pittsburgh Zoo
Animal Rescue League
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
Andy Warhol Museum
The Children's Institute
Powder Mill Nature Preserve
World Affairs Council
Global Solutions Pittsburgh
The Center for STEM Education for Girls
We are also involved in several research partnerships with Professors at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.