Connecting with Joe Harper at the Big Bang Conference in Rhode Island, we were invited and humbled to visit the MUSE School. Each and every school we visit is a special day for us. The teachers we meet and the students we speak to motivate us to keep going. To meet the community at the MUSE School, I flew cross country to Los Angeles. Their school sits at the bottom of two hills. After parking and checking in at their office, I was enthusiastically greeted by Tania Lopez-Hipple – a math instructor. We toured the campus, went through several rooms and I loved seeing the walls of each classroom filled from floor to ceiling with work produced by their kids. When I say from floor to ceiling, I mean their ceilings drape with student work cause there’s no space to tape anything more. These teachers make a point to showcase their students.
I learned the faculty at this school take an interest in every child in their classroom. Each teacher works to incorporate subjects like math and English into the child’s current project – they work to intrinsically motivate their students. One kid I met was designing and building his own miniature golf hole by incorporating concepts from geometry.
We continued on to the multipurpose room where a quarter of our organic lunch was grown on campus. Tania and I, sitting with another teacher, discussed the value of independent research projects. These types of projects last for three months and engage with kids around their own interests. We discussed how Tuva can be a support tool for the students to incorporate data analysis and mathematical concepts into their independent research projects. This is the beginning of a collaboration that we’re eager to learn from and engage in. We’re excited to see the kids at the MUSE School get excited around data they’re interested in.
As we move forward be sure to come back to our blog to see updates and student work being showcased on our blog.