On Wednesday, kiddos finally faced the Pitch Committee, a group of district administrators and coordinators, to pitch their 20% Time Project ideas. We broke the kids into two groups and posted the assigned order of pitches outside the classroom door. During the time some kids were pitching, the others were working in a vacant classroom on their Idea Showcase visual.
We have to say, the pitches went beautifully. Right after lunch, many of the kids changed their clothes so that they would look more professional for the committee. Each student/group walked in, introduced themselves to the committee, and began their presentation (opening remarks, launch video, talk a bit more and then open things up for questions).
From what we saw while peeking in to the presentations, the committee members were asking excellent questions of the kids and the kids, for the most part, had solid answers. The conversations centered around the process and the goals of each project.
While debriefing with the committee afterwards, they seemed impressed not only with the project ideas but also with the thinking that went into the project and the process. The fact that many of the projects were community-based seemed to please the committee members as well.
The projects represent a change in thinking for many of these kids. This part of their schooling is not about learning knowledge but creating it. Since many of these kids are doing things that have not been done before, they will create a knowledge base for others to use. Impressive indeed. - Don