Hamilton Southeastern High School focuses on preparing students for college well in advance by offering unique curriculum. Innovations is a new course offered this year. It was designed to inspire creative confidence so students are able to generate, pursue, develop and implement breakthrough ideas.
“This is the first year we have run it here. I co-teach it with Kelsey Habig,” teacher Steve Guenin said. “It’s set up based on future-ready skills. We teach lessons on creative problem-solving, collaboration, idea generation and all the things they say kids are going to need to survive and thrive in this dynamic future.”
The first semester is conten- driven and the second semester is student-driven.
“Kids are going to tackle their own projects, and they’ll use things they’ve learned in first semester to work on their projects,” Guenin said.
Students also will partner with area businesses to help the business creatively problem-solve.
“We (began) our Community Partner Program on Oct. 23. We reached out to organizations in the community and described our project to them,” Guenin said. “We ended up with 17 businesses that presented us with challenges they were facing. Then our students ranked all 17 of these based on the ones they were most interested in. Then using those rankings, we paired them up with their organization.”
Students work in small groups and present ideas to tackle each business challenge.
“We were interested in the students learning from the people they were working with, but in addition to that these kids are the target audience for most of these businesses,” Guenin said.
He said he hopes the program will continue beyond this year.
“We’re really excited. It really reinforces what we’re doing in class,” Guenin said. “We have very high expectations. I think it’s a nice way for the kids to apply what they know to something beyond the school.”