Each year my Lights Academy seniors take on the challenge of identifying design issues within the school and making proposals for addressing those issues in a positive manner. They do the research, share their ideas as a class, and then they pursue the proposals they choose.
Two weeks ago my student Bri (pictured in the post) shared that the sinks in the bathrooms for women were spraying everywhere and that this was a frustration for the young ladies in our building. She researched this issue on YouTube and identified what she believed to be a simple solution to the problem. Since this seemed like a fairly quick and easy fix, we decided to encourage Bri to contact our maintenance supervisor on site with the proposal.
Over the next ten days the two of them did further investigation, ordered parts, and completed the repairs on the sinks, and essentially installed new aerators in the plumbing to fix the problem. No more spraying! Bri reported that one young lady in the restroom commented, “Well, there still isn’t much water pressure, but at least we aren’t getting sprayed on anymore!” Success!
Bri says that she now feels confident with her own home plumbing just from this quick experience. She saw a problem, did the research, came of with the fix, and made a difference.
Do your students have that opportunity? What might they suggest in your classroom? In your school? Will you give them the chance to make a difference? What are some other ways you can build the skills and confidence of your students? While this may seem like a small issue, fixing the problem has been noticeable for our school community. Ask your students what they see in your building. You might be surprised where the conversation leads.