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Real World Learning

Catalyst Innovation Institute students need never ask "why are we learning this?".  All studios begin with prompts co-designed by coaches and students that integrate questions from humanities, delve into history for connections, are relevant to current events and cultures. All studios and projects have real-world implementation, whether communicating social injustices, scientific research, identifying problems and needs, or solving problems. While many educational institutes believe that they are helping students to discover their passions, our experience teaches us that young people need intentionally designed learning opportunities to access the possibilities. Each studio is designed to bring attention to specific tools, skills or subjects providing students with a wide range of possible interests. It is through these experiences, that students can build their PASSION and  create their PURPOSE around it.

Coaches and Learning Experience Designers are intentional in their work to design prompts, project goals, deliverables and academic learning that appeals to all students - not just those interested in design, engineering, technology or coding. All disciplines - from English to World Languages to Sciences will ask young people to think outside the box and to use their creativity to imagine new ways to access and communicate the content of the discipline. 

GLOBAL CITIZENS: Catalyst's mission is to build learning institutes around the world, where educators (Coaches) and Learner's  co-create intentional learning opportunities that have a framework in human centered design thinking (Stanford dschool and IDEO), systems thinking (Waters Foundation),  STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), and Maker-Centered learning (rapid prototyping, creative coding, physical computing, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies). Catalyst believes that global citizenship is necessary for young people to have empathy and motivation to protect our earth and humanity. To achieve this goal, many projects utilize technology to bring together young people from around the world to work together to connect and to develop as informed equity driven global citizens. 

Catalyst Innovation Institute has a deep connection to High Tech High in San Diego, CA, the leader in project based learning. Our founder, Jean Kaneko received her M.Ed in Educational Leadership from the High Tech High Graduate School of Education New School Creation Fellowship program and continues to work with High Tech High to develop new approaches to project based learning that push the envelope of student work. Jean was also the CEO and Chief Tinkerer of the The Exploratory, a maker-centered program that included professional development for teachers and school leaders, a family oriented maker-space in Culver City, CA, hundreds of public workshops at libraries, museums, public spaces and schools, after school programs, camps, and STEAM and Innovation classes within the school day at both public and private schools. 

Examples Of Our Work 

How Might We Reduce The Rising Obesity Rate in America?  

This 6th grader's POV was that Americans don't have the opportunity to eat gourmet foods, which leads to eating fast foods. His project utilizes the technology being developed by a leading Los Angeles think tank that brings virtual reality, smells, technology for the ears to simulate texture and 3D printed foods to simulate foods. He hopes to create partnerships with top chefs around the world to create opportunities for Americans to be able to experience gourmet foods at a low cost. 

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