The pilot projects for the first intake were put together by the team of educators themselves. We used inspiration from various resources online and adapted them to better suit our students. At the end of each project, the educators evaluate what worked and what needs to be improved next time around. We have tried our best to choose topics and problems that would give our students a chance to showcase their out of the box thinking, while balancing practicality. We are more than happy to share the project outlines and whatever we have learnt from this experience because we believe all educators and students should have the opportunity to explore and experience these projects.
We initiated a project where students began by collecting garbage in their area and learning the process of sorting waste. Throughout the project, they gained valuable knowledge about the significance of recycling, upcycling, and sustainability. Their main objective was to create an upcycled product with market value. In the process, students delved into understanding the marketability of a product and were introduced to the fundamental concept of supply and demand. At the final presentation, students showcased their upcycled product through both a physical prototype, demonstrating their creative and innovative abilities. This project empowered students with practical skills and an awareness of environmental responsibility.
We encouraged students to delve into the world of fashion, exploring design elements and its cultural impact. We also explored what a sense of fashion was and how to dress to suit occasions and situations. The students had the opportunity to compare and contrast fashion between different cultures, with a specific focus on Sri Lanka. In this project, students showcased their creativity by developing their own fashion line using upcycled clothing. By utilizing existing materials in innovative ways, they promoted sustainability and environmental consciousness. Through this hands-on experience, students gained a deeper understanding of fashion design while also learning the importance of reducing waste and embracing eco-friendly practices.
We guided students in exploring facial expressions and the emotions they conveyed in their daily lives. Additionally, they delved into the fascinating realm of masks across various world cultures, including Sri Lanka. This exploration encompassed the origins, purposes, and uses of masks in rituals, performances, fashion, occupations, and more. The students contemplated how masks functioned as objects that enhanced beauty, provided protection or concealment, displayed power, or, most importantly, portrayed emotions. They explored the psychology of colours and explored symbolism. Armed with this newfound knowledge, they embarked on creating masks that artistically represented different emotions, situations and plights. These masks were then showcased as part of a collaborative presentation, illustrating the profound connection between each emotion and the corresponding mask. This was one of our most popular projects as it encouraged most students to speak about difficulties and express themselves.
Students worked in groups to create short videos of their choice, aiming to share information on various topics. They delved into setting up devices, understanding the necessary information for filling bank forms, and exploring words related to financial literacy. Prior to formulating the video content, students thoroughly explored their devices and relevant apps. Additionally, they opened savings accounts with the bank to enhance their understanding of the process. Collaboratively, students planned, practiced, recorded, and edited their 1-2 minute videos using the Capcut app on their mobile devices. This hands-on project allowed them to develop valuable skills in video production while effectively communicating important information to their audience.
Students organized an end-of-term exhibition for parents, providing a platform to showcase their learning experiences and products from the term. They seized this opportunity to demonstrate their acquired skills and knowledge. The exhibition served as a comprehensive display of their growth and achievements throughout the term. Students took pride in presenting their projects, artwork, presentations, and other creative endeavors. The event allowed parents to witness firsthand the progress their children had made and the breadth of knowledge they had acquired. The exhibition served as a testament to the students’ dedication, hard work, and the valuable learning experiences they had embraced throughout the term.
Students explored real-world problems within their community, focusing on issues they were passionate about and desired to help resolve. They embarked on research and analysis of past data to devise practical solutions for addressing these problems. The project aimed to instill the understanding that making a difference in society does not require privilege or a certain age. Students realized the power of their voices and their ability to effect change in the world. The culmination of their efforts resulted in the creation of awareness videos, designed to shed light on the chosen community issues. These videos served as a powerful tool to educate and inspire others while amplifying the students’ impact in the community.
Students delved into the realm of food, exploring various diets and food cultures from around the world. Eventually, they narrowed their focus to a specific country for further exploration. This journey introduced them to different types of cuisine, dietary practices, and the pivotal role of food in shaping culture. They embarked on a comparative analysis, drawing parallels and appreciating the contrasts between their chosen country and Sri Lanka. To culminate the project, students put their findings into practice by creating fusion dishes that reflected their discoveries. The project reached its pinnacle with an exuberant cook off where students showcased their culinary creations, celebrating diversity and cultural appreciation through the universal language of food.
Students embarked on a multifaceted journey of self-reflection and financial planning. Initially, they created personal vision boards, envisioning the goals they aspired to achieve and the possessions they desired by the age of 30. Subsequently, assuming the role of financial planners, they assisted hypothetical families in achieving their financial goals. Students familiarized themselves with fundamental vocabulary associated with budgeting and financial planning. Collaboratively, they discussed the financial aspirations of their assigned families and developed monthly budgets using Google Sheets. This process prompted them to reevaluate their own vision boards, crafting monthly budgets that reflected their imagined lives in another 15 years. The final step involved sharing their individual financial plans with their classmates, fostering an environment of collective learning and shared insights.
Students embarked on a journey of exploring new business ideas aligned with their individual skills and talents. From this pool of ideas, they carefully selected a final product or service deemed suitable for a business startup. Throughout the project, students immersed themselves in the intricacies of starting a business, encompassing vital steps and processes such as conducting feasibility studies, market research, defining product specifications, determining pricing strategies, and crafting effective marketing strategies. As a culmination of their efforts, students created comprehensive Google Slides that served as a powerful tool for pitching their business ideas to potential angel investors. This project provided students with valuable insights into the world of entrepreneurship and honed their skills in critical thinking, creativity, and business acumen.
Students undertook the exciting responsibility of revitalizing their school premises. They delved into a research journey, exploring the needs and potential improvements that could be made. Equipped with this knowledge, students utilized TinkerCAD to redesign the space, incorporating elements they deemed necessary for the school. They worked diligently, guided by a set of criteria provided by the teacher. The culmination of their efforts occurred on the final day of the project, as students proudly presented their innovative designs to the school. This project not only fostered their creativity and problem-solving skills but also empowered them to actively contribute to the betterment of their school environment.
Students explored the use of vlogging tools to share their journey online and reflect on their progress throughout the Empower program. They created a comprehensive digital portfolio, incorporating text, videos, visuals, and audio to showcase their experiences across the terms. This collection served as a testament to their growth and accomplishments. The students proudly showcased their digital portfolio to their parents, providing a captivating glimpse into their empowering journey. The vlogs served as a powerful tool for self-expression and reflection, allowing students to demonstrate how far they had come and celebrate their achievements throughout the program.