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Make A Difference Project

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."

-John F. Kennedy

Please print and sign this document and return to Mrs. Brown by September 13th, to verify you have read the requirements.

The Make A Difference Project is an intensive, year-long innovation project with a focus on Design Thinking. Students are challenged to become problem-solvers in an attempt to make an impact and a contribution as active citizens. While focusing on their passion(s), students will be asked to identify a problem and propose a solution in order to address the complex issues in the world around us. Our students will soon be entering a world where they will be called to be independent thinkers and creative problem-solvers, and we want to prepare them for this challenge. 

As with any innovative problem-solving effort, the process is not always linear and includes multiple iterations of the prototype. The process through which students arrive at a solution is as important as the outcome itself. Since we believe that every single one of our students is an innovator, we are challenging them to dream big! Depending on the scope of the problem and the available resources, it is possible that a solution to a certain problem may not be reached during the course of the project. However, we want the students to persevere until they have found a solution, even if it is a few years down the road. This project teaches valuable lessons about grit and perseverance, about flexibility and critical thinking, that failure is part of innovation, and above all that everyone has the ability to be a changemaker.

Students will have a dedicated period once a week with teachers and advisors who will help them brainstorm and sharpen the focus of their project. However, students will also need to work on the project independently outside of school in order to meet all of the requirements and deadlines. This project will culminate with a required visual and oral presentation to the school community.  

Due Dates:
Intro Letter Signed and Returned: September 13
Empathy and Inspiration Videos and Reflection: September 20
Defining the problem and Ideating: October 4
Research and Ideate: October through December
Written Proposal: December 20
Prototype and Test: January through April
Weekly Reflections: (TBD)
Written Presentation: April 17
Oral and Visual Presentation: May 7

On Thursday, May 7, students will bring in everything they need to set up for their Make A Difference project presentation. Parents are welcome to come help with setup, which starts at 8:10 a.m. Students will attend regular classes in the morning. In the afternoon, other classes will be scheduled to rotate through the exhibit. This will give the students the opportunity to practice their presentation skills for the evening’s event.

-Dress in professional attire
-Display your written and visual presentations (details to follow)
-Be ready to present your oral presentation (details to follow)

Evening Presentation: 
Students are required to be at school at 6:15 p.m. to set up for the evening presentations, which runs from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Family, teachers, board members, and community members are invited to attend the presentations. Students will stay an additional half hour to break down their projects. No homework will be given the evening before and the evening of the Make a Difference project presentation. 

**Please note: This project is a requirement for graduation. Students are required to attend both the daytime AND evening presentations.

Please feel free to contact Mrs. Brown with any questions.