Maverick Maker

3-2-1-Launch. My syllabus for this semester’s edition of my T.E.D – Technology, Engineering, & Design – class is live. This year at Mount Vernon Presbyterian school our Head of School, Brett Jacobsen, provided a bold provocation to the entire faculty: Be a Maverick. In a vague, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous(VUCA) world an innovative mindset is necessary to navigate. One pathway to innovation is by being a maverick. That is, mavericks vary and change their routes. They challenge assumptions. They experiment and test. They think big.

The pioneer in me – recently validated via by the StandOut Assessment – took the maverick message to heart. As such, I’m varying my route in the T.E.D. course this year and testing at least 3 new ideas:

  1. HMW I redesign my syllabus to inspire and engage parents and learners?
    • Which is preferred? Static content that clearly delivers “just the facts” or dynamic content that engages and generates questions?
  2. What if the E in T.E.D. were changed to entrepreneurship?
    • While students have previously had opportunities to build and make projects that were meaningful to them, that element of choice will include and added dimension this year. In addition to submitting a build permit (standard procedure for our Maker|Design|Engineering program) students will create a business strategy for launching their product to the marketplace. The hypothesis is that this additional dimension will help learners more meaningfully consider usability, marketability, and feasibility.
  3. HMW practice PBL in an interdisciplinary that creates real meaning for each class involved?
    • You May have read about last year’s edition of this experiment. This year, T.E.D., AP Physics, and Pre-Calculus will partner to design assistive technologies for real users. The hope is to better embed the designing process > generate more empathy > fabricate more meaningful products.

I’ve worked each of these tests into a syllabus I created using LucidPress (a favorite tool, BTW). Because I’m testing new ideas….I’m craving feedback. Bring it on!


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