NOVA Lab Day 7–Getting on the Map

Period 3

What happened?

  • Today in class, we started things off with a game of Funk, Monk, Dunk, which is Rock, Paper, Scissors but more raucous and entertaining. The goal was to learn the names of and then cheer for other people in the class. After Funk, Monk, Dunk, Mr Heidt gave us a layout of what the year is going to look like. This was our first true taste of the “syllabus,” but for Innovation Lab I will refer to it as a “map.” (Syllabus, albeit a fancy word, is (a) intimidating, and (b) mentioned one time in a given school year.)

road map

  • The map provided us with hints about the answer to this question: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious class? We all watched a TED Talk explaining the role of the leader and his followers, showing that we were all courageous but wild nuts who want to change our school. Class ended with a game of Distruptus, where two random objects are presented to a pair of partners and they make ideas about how to use those objects alone.

So what?

  • Maybe this was just for me, but today was a day where I truly began to understand where Nova Lab wants to go. We had spent the previous days getting acclimated to school again, and things felt all over the place, but today they came together into a solid plan. Funk, Monk, Dunk ended with a newcomer to Mr Heidt’s class beating everybody else, which was a neat moment. The map provided the class with tangible insight of where Nova Lab will take us. The TED Talk was an analogy for us from Mr Heidt. We sat in our seats and admitted that we were “crazy,” but the good kind of crazy, the kind where innovators are led to make changes. Today’s class was a giant billboard advertising “SO WHAT?!” And that was pretty awesome.

Now what?

  • Now we are still working toward building a tighter community of innovators. A newcomer won the first-ever game of Funk, Monk, Dunk: Period 3 Innovation Lab Edition; but that was only scraping the surface. It was also by chance. Now we are focusing on building bridges whose structural support is not chance, but intention. Perhaps none of us really know the immediate answer to “Now what?” but we are looking for it. We might have to change some things along the way. However, the vague next steps are to dive into Weeks 1-8 of Mr Heidt’s not-syllabus, adjusting ourselves to Innovation Lab’s VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) environment.
  • Jasmine U.


Period 9:

Today, Thursday September 5th, our class participated in multiple different activities, as well as learned a basic run through of what to expect for the future of Innovation Lab. We began the class with a fun, interactive game similar to rock, paper scissors, but in this case, it was gorilla, ninja, cowboy. We decided to do this activity outside, not only to promote a new environment, but to also allow us to cheer on our classmates until there were only two people left (great job Gabi on that win!). This activity allowed us to bond, and prepare ourselves for the interactive and energetic environment of the classroom. Once we went back inside, we were ready to understand the further importance of connecting together in our classroom. 

Mr. Heidt presented us with something that our class sparked interest in a couple days prior, a road map for the idealization of the class. We emphasized the idea that this class is ideally to be lead by the students and their creativity so the road map may or may not include things that could lead to the success of this class and our potentially new learned skills. Once discussing and analyzing the roadmap, it gave a clearer understanding of how the class will be approached and generally what to expect. We were then presented with a T.E.D. talk about leadership and followers. A general consensus of it was an emphasis on the idea of not being afraid to stand out and start something, as well as the importance of getting involved and further following the actions of others. Something I personally took from it is that leadership is over glorified, because the next person to join the leader is taking their own stand and leadership to then inspire more and more people. 

We then concluded the class with another interesting and innovative activity. We chose a partner we didn’t know much about and were given two different objects on a card and were tasked to come up with an innovative way to combine the two objects (or parts of them). After coming up with our own ideas, we shared them with our partner to then decide which innovation to go with. This activity was most important as it gave an insight into real life situations of connecting, discussing, and collaborating with people you may generally not talk to. This activity gave most insight into the situations of business environments and situations. My partner and I were given the two objects of a skateboard and old fashioned perfume bottle, in which we collaborated and got a glimpse into the mind sets and creativity of each other. 

With all of the collaboration and interactions that occurred today, it most definitely gave a more close and connecting environment within our classroom. Our creativity and self-reflections gave into the innovative mindsets that can be expected within the class. We can further take this mindset and environment to form bigger and more successful projects in the near future for Innovation Lab.     

-Janine V.


Published by Garreth Heidt

Designerly Minded High School Humanities and Liberal Studies Teacher Faculty Mentor FIRST Robotics Team #7414--PV Retrobotics. Constantly learning, trying to be more a maker and less a consumer of culture. I believe in the infinite value of a liberal education and the power of design thinking to help make the world a better place.

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