Moonshot Thinking


To be audacious. Creative. Think Big. Courageous. To have Moonshot Thinking.This is what we want our students to have. Last week I wrote about not passing limits on our students. This week it’s about it is about expanding the limits of creativity of our gifted students.

I hope that you had the chance to watch the short video above. Every time I watch it I get inspired to try something new. I showed this video to my students, and asked for their reactions. It was interesting to get their views on it. Some, just like me, thought it was inspiring, moving, and some just thought it was interesting. I am not sure, but I think some of my students thought this video was about someone else. I was hoping they would get the idea that this video was about and for them.

Some asked, “what is a moonshot?” On the description of this video it reads:

Moonshots live in the gray area between audacious technology and pure science fiction. Instead of a mere 10% gain, a moonshot aims for a 10x improvement over what currently exists. The combination of a huge problem, a radical solution to that problem, and the breakthrough technology that just might make that solution possible, is the essence of a moonshot.

I believe the expectations for our gifted students has been lowered with all of the testing that is going on. We have a curricula that is not as challenging and deep as it should be thanks to high stakes testing like the graduation tests, and PARCC tests. Many gifted students are only worried about passing, or getting a high score on those exams, not about moonshot thinking.

We have cut out the creativity, the imagination activities, the inventive play from our curriculum to meet the standards the test makers think is important, but not real world relevant skills. We need to get those things back. Our students are constantly being measured in math, science, and reading against other countries who have those elements in their curricula. How can our students really compete if they don’t have the push or stretch of learning more than what is being presented to them in the classroom?

We need to get moonshot thinking back into our classrooms, and schools. The Maker Ed. Movement is one way we are getting this back. We need to stretch our students’ minds, imagination, and creativity in any way we can. Teachers need to give students to courage to try something new. So what if they fail? Everyone can learn from failure.

So, how can we impart this Moonshot thinking to our gifted children? (Here are a few of my ideas. You can probably add to this list.)

1. Introduce them to Technology: Our students need to have coding, gaming, and computer technical skills to adapt to new technology.

2. Give them time to tinker, explore, create proto-types, and develop ideas. We have to stretch our students. We have to give them time, activities, and technology that will encourage  them to try new things.

3.  Encourage students to find their passion. Students need to be encouraged to find their passion and explore all avenues of it. This could be a club that meets before or after school sponsored by teachers, parents, or advocates. This could be class (like the one Don Wettrick runs).

4. Teach the 4 C’s in our classroom.  The 4 C’s are Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity. We need to design our lessons with these elements in mind.

There any many different things that we can be doing that will benefit our gifted students. What do you think? What would you add to the list?

By the way to see what moonshots has been taken check out: Solve for X.

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