Programs

We are currently designing and running programs in and around Cambridge.

With each program we seek to work with the public school district, the after school community, or with a local business partner.

Pivotal Mentors "Learn To Code"

We've partnered up with Pivotal Labs to create a coding program designed to give students from all backgrounds positive experiences with software development.

The program focuses on connecting students with passionate mentors in an interesting setting and helping them to learn code while they explore interesting challenges, complex math problems, artistic expression, and self expression through code.

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Student Voice

We meet with a small group of high school students on a weekly basis to discuss their educational experiences and what an ideal high school experience might look like.

Topics range from the ideal class to how you can better support discussions of controversial topics to what the ideal schedule might look like to how you might deal with discipline in a school.

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Moses Youth Center

We have been running a weekly program at the Moses Youth Center in Cambridge. The program has ranged from coding to more active engineering challenges.

Many of the students at the youth center are interested in athletics so we're hoping to explore program designs that support that passion in the near future.

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The Art of Thinking

Students will explore different frameworks for thinking (e.g. Design Thinking, Computational Thinking, First-Principle Thinking) and will develop their skills for observation through artistic exercises, philosophic discussions, and problem solving challenges.

Students will use these skills to reframe challenges and goals in their own lives. They will practice observing from different perspectives, developing their ability to empathize more effectively, and question their own assumptions.

Lastly we'll explore the way these processes and techniques have been used through-out history and continue to be used across all adult professional activities. Students will be supported toward becoming philosophers of their own lives and interests.

Status: In Development

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Drawing In Code

The Puzzle School is collaborating with David Ng, the founder of Vertical Learning Labs, to develop an online resource designed to support an exploration of artistic observation and computational thinking. Essentially students will learn how to teach a computer to draw and design games.

Through a series of challenges students will develop their ability to observe their physical world and translate that into code so that a computer can draw it. From there students will be able to animate their drawing and make them interactive (games).

The eventual goal is to support students toward projects of their own design that can then be shared with friends and family.

Status: In Development

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The Innovator's Compass

One of The Puzzle School's advisors, Ela Ben-Ur, is a 15 year veteran of the world-renowned design firm, Ideo. Drawing on her experiences at IDEO Ela has created the Innovator's Compass, a simplified framework for engaging in Design Thinking.

We are working with Ela to design programs that leverage the Innovator's Compass and Design Thinking toward problems that are personally important to students. This may range from choosing a college to a fight with a significant other or family member. In each situation student will be asked to observe their situation, brainstorm on what matters most, think through possible future, think through experiments they could try to achieve their goal, and then repeat.

Status: In Development

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Forge Your Unique Path

We are developing a program in collaboration with a local youth center to help students think about their interests, their strengths, their future, and problems in the world they want to solve.

We are currently exploring two areas of focus. The first, more general area, is working with students one-on-one, interviewing them about their interests and brainstorming other areas of interest before exploring different ways to pursue those interests.

The second area will focus on students who have decided that their only interest is sports; that playing professional sports is their only path toward a successful adult life.

With both groups the goal will be to help students think through their future and various options. We aren't trying to explicitly change their mind or discourage any path, simply to brainstorm on how to best pursue and potentially expand their goals.

Status: In Development

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“So this was the big secret historians keep to themselves: historical research is wildly seductive and fun. There's a thrill in the process of digging, then piecing together details like a puzzle.”

~ Nancy Horan

“As a kid, I was into music, played guitar in a band. Then I started acting in plays in junior high school and just got lost in the puzzle of acting, the magic of it. I think it was an escape for me.”

~ Michael J. Fox

“When you write non-fiction, you sit down at your desk with a pile of notebooks, newspaper clippings, and books and you research and put a book together the way you would a jigsaw puzzle.”

~ Janine di Giovanni

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