Real-world learning? Cross-curricular collaboration? At this high school, the answer is a resounding, "YES!"
I was recently talking with my brother about a project his computer science class is working on. It all started with a catering class, when they were given this assignment:
Participating teams will demonstrate their knowledge of the restaurant and food service industry by developing a written proposal for potential investors in a new restaurant concept.The written proposal will consist of a defined restaurant concept, supporting menu, and supporting marketing plan."
As a part of this assignment, they added in team members from other classes...
Students in an interior design class became "contractors" helping them design the restaurant.
Students in a marketing class are developing business cards, brochures, and a marketing plan.
Students in his computer science class are tasked with building an app for the restaurant.
Four classes. That's a lot of coordination. But think about what the students are learning!
They are seeing a project through from start to finish, with many different phases.
They are collaborating and working together.
They are practicing entrepreneurship skills.
The computer science students are learning to work with a "client" and design for what somebody else wants (which may or may not be clearly communicated at the outset - very realistic!).
They are putting their unique skills to use to help others.
They are learning to work with people with different strengths.
They are learning that they are just one part of a larger puzzle that makes the world go 'round.
They are breaking down the artificial walls between different subjects and connecting the dots to work toward a larger goal.
I am so inspired about this project and thinking about how it breaks the mold of "playing the school game" and really prepares them for life after graduation. I hope more teachers are encouraged to design learning opportunities like this in the future!