- Grades 9 - 12 Campus News
On May 17-18, Grades 9-12 math teacher Mrs. Gail Anderson attended the annual Solve conference at her alma mater, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. "I have been involved with MIT Solve since its kickoff event in 2015, and this was the inspiration for the research I conducted in online refugee education during my 2017 sabbatical," says Mrs. Anderson.
The conference theme this year was "Healthy Planet, Healthy People." The mission of MIT Solve is to identify the best solutions to specific, actionable challenges through open innovation, and to build and convene a community of leaders and changemakers committed to partnering together to pilot and implement these solutions. "It's a very exciting group of people to work with," Mrs. Anderson says, "from directors of the World Bank, to executives of tech companies such as iRobot and Hewlett Packard, to leaders of UNICEF and Save the Children, to an engineer from Lichtenstein and a high school math teacher from Lansdale."
This year, the education focus question was, "How can disadvantaged youth learn the skills they need to prepare them for the workforce of the future and thrive in the 21st century?" The new topic for the 2018 challenge is, "How can teachers and educators provide accessible, personalized, and creative learning experiences for all?"
"These are both areas in which Dock has an interest," she says. "Discussions around topics such as '21st Century Skills' and 'Digital Literacy' both confirmed what we as a faculty have been talking about, and inspired me with fresh ideas and insights."
The highlight of the conference, she adds, was a plenary session by Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada. He spoke about working together to solve problems, encouraging us to embrace the rapid change in which we find ourselves, and helping to shape the change, rather than hide from it. "One thing I encourage students in my classes to do is to ask each other questions such as, 'What do you think?'" she says. "Mr. Trudeau has intentionally built a diverse cabinet for his government because he believes that 'having someone with a different perspective and different back-story working alongside you to try to solve [problems] allows you to see around those corners a little quicker and to come up with solutions.' This is just the skill we in the math department encourage our students to develop within the context of mathematics!"