Recently, I worked with St. Jude to help design a brand spanking new amazing project-based learning challenge. As a member of the St. Jude Educator Ambassador Network, I’m so excited to share this challenge that not only incorporates STEM, academic standards, and creativity, but also allows classrooms to raise money to help the children at St. Jude!
Since 1962, St. Jude has been finding cures and saving children from cancer with zero cost to the families. Their “mission is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay” (St. Jude). I’m hugely honored to get to partner with such an amazing organization and even MORE stoked to get to share this project-based learning challenge with you all.
It’s called the E.P.I.C. Challenge, which stands for:
If you’re already sold and ready to jump in (because who doesn’t need more ideas for quality STEM and project-based learning for distanced classrooms this year?!?), this guide has all the details you need to get started.
If you want to hear more first, don’t worry y’all, you know I’m not one to be quiet when I’m excited about something. And I’ve already had three cups of coffee today! LET’S DO THIS.
Here’s what’s great about the project:
First off, ITS FREE!!!!
And there’s nothing better than free quality resources, am I right? It’s free to participate AND there’s an opportunity for your classroom or family to raise money to help children with cancer. Oh, and did I mention there’s a version specifically designed for those new homeschooling parents this year? Yep, another great perk 🙂
There are two distinct tracks for teachers with classrooms or parents to implement the project at home, with tailored support for each. Super epic, if I do say so myself 😉 The St. Jude Educator Ambassador Network and team at St. Jude worked to ensure that educators have all of the tips, details, and resources needed to successfully complete this challenge.
Second, it’s designed to be completed successfully in the classroom or through distance/hybrid learning. Plus, the project aligns with Next Generation Science Standards so you can be sure to tick some important curriculum boxes along the way.
Third, it comes in 5 easy-to-implement lessons. This is a great project for the beginning of the school year to build camaraderie and teamwork among your students for distance learning or socially distant in-person classrooms. Additionally, it’s community-facing and helps students strengthen that empathy muscle by getting into someone else’s shoes and considering others’ needs and struggles.
Finally, it’s an all-inclusive guide that you can use straight “out of the box”, so to speak, or adjust it to fit the needs of your own classroom. St. Jude has provided example inventions as a guide to stimulate student imaginations. As you’ll see below, imagination is key! Students do not have to confine themselves to the boring rules of “reality” when participating in this challenge. The sky — and beyond to a galaxy far far away — is the limit! (Say hey to Luke and Rey for me!)
St. Jude Examples and Invention Categories:
- School Invention
St. Jude patients often miss lots of school while they’re receiving treatment. What can you invent to help make sure kids who battle cancer don’t fall behind in their studies? Example: A rocket ship wheelchair to get to and from appointments more quickly.
- Friends Invention
St. Jude treats patients from all 50 states and around the world! That means lots of kids at St. Jude speak different languages. What can you create to help kids who speak different languages communicate? Example: A phone that translates words as children speak to each other.
- Feelings Invention
Going through treatment for cancer sometimes feels uncomfortable and scary. What can you invent to help kids feel calm and safe while they go through treatment? Example: A confidence cloak covered in nice sayings to help patients feel better.
- Body Invention
Kids battling cancer sometimes develop a fever before their parents know they have cancer. What can you create to help parents know the fever is a symptom of cancer? Example: A remote control thermometer that tells parents when children have cancer.
Source: St. Jude EPIC Challenge
I know I can’t wait to complete the challenge with my kiddos! So, who’s joining me for an E.P.I.C. CHALLENGE?!?!
Register and read more HERE. Let’s make this year EPIC and out of this world!