UMA Update: 9/7/17

UMA Update: 9/7/17

Hello Families,

The current news confronts us with many seemingly insurmountable challenges from making cities such as Houston more flood proof to reducing tensions in the Korean peninsula. For local families, some face the logistic challenge of transporting their students to school while others have loved ones fearing deportation. The issues surrounding us, no matter how small or large, remind us that we need more effective problem solvers.

At UMA, we play our part by engaging our students in the design and engineering (D&E) process, which is focused on the following phases:

  • Utilize Empathy

  • Define Problem

  • Identify Needs

  • Brainstorm Solutions

  • Create Prototypes

  • Test and Analyze

Even though D&E is a pathway class in the sixth and ninth grades, students and teachers apply design and engineering across all subjects. Our goal is to have students use these phases intrinsically. Ultimately, students will demonstrate the success of learning these steps when they apply them outside of class assignments.

We are currently in the process of developing a measurement to track each student’s success using the D&E design process. We will review ideas with our authorizer in order to develop a method that will examine the frequency and quality of our students independently completing the following tasks that relate to the D&E phases:

  • Making Connections (e.g., students volunteer or work at organizations related to information or topics from class)

  • Generating Ideas  (e.g, students propose new extracurricular activities)

  • Creating and Implementing (e.g., students write and direct original performances)

UMA students inspire me with hope. They continue to show the energy and resilience to respond to our community’s needs and concerns. I thank UMA staff and families for encouraging the students to become the designers of change.

Interested in Becoming a Substitute Teacher?

UMA is looking to build our substitute teacher pool. If you have a short-term substitute license, know of someone who does, or are interested in obtaining one, please contact Harry Adler.

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