Thursday, September 18, 2014

Help Needed: Problems to Be Solved

In Lights Academy, our intensive personalized learning program at Lutheran High School, we are looking at how people solve problems. My premise is that there are so many interesting problems in the world if we just know where to look -- problems which might capture the interest of different people in solving. To that end, each student is being asked to seek out a problem to be solved. The expected investment of time in solving these problems is several hours, but there is a lot of flexibility depending on the project. Students will be documenting their work in solving this problem in their digital portfolios. Students could also solve several smaller problems rather than one big one. Problems that are solved should add value to the work and life of others.

Here are some ideas I have thought of that are examples of what is possible:

  • Ideas related to the former Denver Lutheran High School -- research on better displaying archives, organizing photos and historical records, writing a history of the school, etc.
  • Research for me on Project-Based Learning strategies and recommendations for the application of these ideas within Lights Academy.
  • Seek out a greater list of service hours opportunities for our students, calling and talking to those that might be able to provide local opportunities, and then add to our existing web page or even create a new site for this, publicizing this to students and parents in the process.
  • Creating a recycling plan or enhancing an existing plan in working with a non-profit or business
  • Create documents, videos, a website, etc. which explains all the important steps in the college application process from a student perspective.
  • Build a publicity plan for something using tradition media as well as social media for events or programs where we want better visibility, such as for the plays at Lutheran or for the Robotics club.

Those are the types of questions I want our Lights Academy students to solve. There are many more that are possible. We will be working with students to help them understand all the problems that are out there waiting to be solved, so this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Here is where you as blog readers come in. I would like to know if you can think of any problems that might need solving for you, for your school, for your church, family, a business, general research and societal issues, Lutheran education ideas, etc. This could be research a student does. It could connect with a plan or process. It could be mechanical or technology-based in nature. Students are to seek out the problems to solve, but I thought that putting a list in advance might be useful for working with students since I am asking them to do something they may not have thought of in advance.

I would appreciate it if you would think about problems that might need to be solved from your various realms and activities. This will help me compile a good list to get them thinking about what is possible.

Thanks in advance for your help and support. Please leave any ideas you might have as a comment to this post.


  1. How can Lutheran schools take their current facilities, that may be decades old, and transform them into 21st century learning spaces.

  2. Awesome Kevin -- thanks for sharing!

  3. Where is the like button for Kevin's comment?