Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Supporting Innovative Thinking

by Adriana Hollenbeck, Head of The Experiential School of Tampa Bay
In all experiences with engineering in the classrooms at The Experiential School, we ask ourselves: does this experience allow children access to the thinking of engineering? How might we support all children to access innovative thinking with the materials we are providing?

We deeply believe that this happens through student engagement with open-ended materials in slow, deliberate ways, and also through their engagement with the language of the logic systems of engineering.

A focus on language and its relationship to logic allows children to be able to imagine how things work, or why they don’t work, and feel confident about what they know about the process.

Ms. Rosas and her students were exploring possibilities and debugging as they went, making changes to improve the outcome. The goal was clear.
“What might you do to make it work?”
“What do you think we should change?”
“Let’s try one more time.”

Through a discussion on the relationships between the materials and their ideas, they establish significant dialogue that allows the children to grow access and agency to their own creative thinking.

“We want all children to grow internalized sensibilities, to slow down and appreciate that there is always more to see and more to wonder. We want to help them follow questions to find new questions, to embrace struggle in a way that they learn to appreciate it, and want to continuously find new challenges for themselves.” (Langer, 2014)

Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191

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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.