Did you ever build a robot in high school?

Our Fusion Alexandria students are embarking on a ten-week journey to build their very own robotics kits during our new Friday class, Fusion Forums. On September 30th, students came together as a team and were guided through a series of team-building exercises for the first-ever Robotics Forum.

Unlike our original one-to-one class structure, “Fusion Forums” happen in small groups of students and teachers. The Forums are project-based learning workshops aimed at giving students a greater depth of learning in a collaborative setting that challenges them both individually and collectively.

[Fusion Forums are our first and only group-based classes.)

The interactive projects required brainstorming, non-verbal building, and transferring abstract ideas into visual representations. Each of the activities challenged the students to consider questions like, “How can we do this together?” and “How can we convey these ideas in a cohesive, single image?” Together, the students were taken through the project development cycle, the importance of reflection, and the power of inquiry.

[Students developed abstract ideas into a word and sketch list.]
Later on during this course, students will work on their project management skills, build robotics kits, and finally present their experiences through public presentation or performance to demonstrate their application of learning. Students will also put together a Forum project summary for their student resumé or portfolio. These summaries are often helpful for college applications and job interviews.

Forum projects are built on common student interests – not grade levels or ages – and are open to both full- and part-time students. Teachers help facilitate the forums, but the students set the stage by determining the desired outcome, mapping the projects, and working together to achieve their goals.

[A student robot project.]
Fusion Academy has grown from just one school to over thirty across the country, and we’ve been careful to respect the different state education requirements over the years. Building a school in Virginia created a unique opportunity to enrich the current school program and add more group socialization in a way that we’ve never done before.

[Fusion Forums have opened up a whole new level of socialization in our classrooms!]
Due to the continual growth of our Fusion family, we’ve been given new demands to meet – and it’s been exciting to develop our education program from those opportunities. We’re constantly working with our students to help them learn in the ways they learn best. Most of the time, that looks like our teachers mentoring students one-on-one. This time, it looked like students and teachers coming together to geek out about robots.

Find out more about the Fusion Forums program on our website here.

Emily Scholl is a Marketing Assistant at Fusion Education Group. She’s a writer/designer by trade and chai latte enthusiast by choice. She enjoys bringing Fusion stories to life across different digital media platforms.

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