9 Year Old EdTech Reporter Experiences Explo By Protecting Skiers From Polar Bears
Explo.org is taking the education world by storm with their unusual curriculum. Explo allows students to investigate subjects they’re not likely to encounter during the school year. Their courses aren’t for credit or graded. They allow 1:1 and group collaboration with students and instructors to explore the boundaries of kids’ imaginations will incorporating things like STEM.
“Our daughter attends an excellent public school, where she is required to fit into their boxes, and she is pretty good at it. But she is so much more than that and EXPLO allowed her to plumb the depths of her imagination.” an Explo parent said on their website.
At SXSWedu in the innovation playground you couldn’t help but be mesmerized by a gigantic skilift mountain looking contraption that seemed to be built out of cardboard, wood and clothes pins. In their signature bright orange decor, Explo dominated the room and quickly got administrators, educators and students engaged in what they were doing.
In this case, they were having tennis balls that represented skiers go to the top of the structure using a pulley system and a “ski lift” made out of laser cut wood that looks like clothespins. The conveyor system takes the tennis balls up 12 feet to the top of a really high hill.
From there, the skier (balls) are released down the hill. But waiting at the foot of the hill is a gigantic polar bear made out of cardboard. The object here is that the balls can’t go through the polar bears mouth. The skiers can’t get eaten at the bottom of the slope.
In some cases the skiers bail all together and fall off the side of the mountain. In other cases they land right in the bears belly.
Students, and in the case of SXSWedu students are mostly educators and teachers, make ramps out of cardboard that can be placed along the mountain.
There are two objectives. Objective number one is to make sure the balls get enough air that they at least go over the bears head. Naturally the bear would come to life and chase the skier, they still may meat a morbid death (meet intentionally misspelled). The other objective is to get the ball (skier) over the bear and into a bucket. Think redemption game!!!!!
Tatum’s first ramp was a little off, but after some refining with the Explo instructors it finally happened.