WEquil.School is a project-based learning (PBL) program for kids who learn better by doing real things to prepare for the real world. We help to facilitate this dynamic student-led approach by helping to structure "Creative Projects" tailored to each students needs and unique strengths and interests of our students.
PBL is a big part of what we do at WEquil School. We did not invent PBL, but we did invent a school and process built on these concepts. The end goal of PBL is to help students grow from knowledge consumers to value creators.
Everything in our curriculum is ultimately published as a “Creative Project”. By “Creative” we mean that the project has two qualities. The first is that it must be something novel or unique. The second is that the project must add value to other people. The result of every project is something that is new and helpful.
Creative Projects can include just about anything. Our students create games, make movies, write stories, build apps, publish research, compose music, lead clubs, share books, teach classes, host meetups, organize initiatives, develop products, design websites, create artwork, and more!
One good rule of thumb for determining if a Project is "Creative" is to ask...
"Am I interested in this project idea?"
Parents sometimes confuse "Useful" with "Creative" when evaluating a project idea. This might be because of their own education experience. Homework assignments and math problems are generally not "Novel" because every student is assigned the same thing.
Students sometimes confuse "Novel" with "Creative" when evaluating a project idea. This might be because they lack experience and need help bridging their interests to create something valuable.
Here are three examples of project ideas proposed by students that were initially deemed "Novel" but not "Useful" by their parents.
Example #1 ... Minecraft Strategy Guide
Ben wanted to write a manual on how to better play a video game. His parents did not find this idea to be particularly valuable. We helped Ben brainstorm other ideas and ultimately settled on Minecraft vs Fortnight. In this project, Ben created a framework for comparing the value of video games. He then used this framework to defend his view that Minecraft is a better video game than Fortnight! His parents were very pleased and impressed because he loved writing the project and it taught him many useful skills such as how to compare and contrast and rank options.
Example #2 ... Wings of Fire book summary
Sumay considered writing a summary of this fantasy novel. But after she started writing it she lost interest because there were already a lot of book summaries out there for Wings of Fire making her project not particularly novel or useful. After discussing this predicament with her classmates at WEquil.School she decided to create Lessons from Fiction ... a lists of practical lessons Sumay learned from from fictional books including Wings of Fire! Everyone enjoyed her presentation on Demo Day and the project went on to inspire many more inspired by fantasy novels loved by our students.
Example #3 ... New Zealand Research
Aila wrote a Wikipedia type article about New Zealand with many useful facts about the country. However, her classmates did not all find it to be particularly novel because there are so many other articles on the internet with the same information. The following week, Aila shared All About New Zealand ... a very entertaining video about New Zealand by Aila with all her flare! Everyone loved it and the video went on to inspire many other videos by students looking to present on topics they have been researching!
Successful projects come from the students imaginations with guidance from parents. Those paying for assistance receive help from one of our learning coaches to come up with the project and preparation for presentations on Demo Day!
Thank you for supporting WEquil.School. Suggestions for improving this guide are appreciated.
WEquil School Leadership Team