For students the Thursday before falll break was a break from class, but not a break for their brains. Students began the morning assembled in the gym where they were quickly divided into teams of 6 made up of 2 students from each grade. Each mixed grade group started at 1 of 3 stations. Each station had a timed task to complete that emphasized team cooperation and innovative thinking. The task were as follows.
Station 1 - 5 members of the group were blindfolded in a line and the 6th teammate had to vocally navigate each member across a "mine field" of rubber frisbees without touching the team mate or the frisbees.
Station 2 - Teams had to stay in a group where the ground was "lava" and slide across the grass on a pieces of cardboard while remaining together by locking hands.
Station 3 - Each team member grabbed a string attached to a single rubber band. Everyone on the team has to pull the string to open the rubber band to grasp a cup, transport that cup across the gym, then stack it to build a pyramid.
The end goal wasn't necessarily to win, but to build team comradery and thinking skills.
After morning exercises, students ate lunch together and then split back into their respective groups at which point they began brainstorming different ideas to innovate their own education in the future. Students watched videos showing what artificial intelligence, mechanization, and other technological innovations might hold for future careers. A world with and increasing population and a decreasing number of jobs due to automation presents particular challenges for current generations.
Once students brainstormed ideas, they put together presentations for their ideas, which ultimately led to a theoretical prototype or a solution. Students were then assigned to different classrooms where they presented their problems and solutions to KS teachers for consideration. There were ideas ranging from classrooms in virtual reality, innovative transportation systems to schools, and more. Overall, students experienced teambuilding with others who might not be in their normal social circle, learned about future technologies, and also experienced design thinking in action to help build a better future for themselves.