What an exciting week at BIG! Monday was the first BIG visit day and staff and students spent the afternoon with an engaging group of educators, administrators, and researchers from across Iowa and as far away as Connecticut and DC. Representatives from higher education also set aside some time to join us. The visitors were able to participate in team meetings and a variety of Q and A sessions, in addition to seeing the BIG space and meeting our community of coworkers and entrepreneurs. It was very powerful to interact with such a passionate group of educators, in varied places on their PBL and CBE journey.
On Monday night, many of our community partners joined us for an update on all things BIG and to spend time with faculty and students. Students Kyle Scheer and Jordan Icenogle pitched their projects to the large group. Other students, parents, and partners participated in a panel discussion, sharing their thoughts on BIG and answering questions generated by our guests.
Tuesday was the Innovation Expo at the Doubletree Convention Center in downtown Cedar Rapids. Many students spent time listening to entrepreneurs pitch their ideas, networking with community members, and participating in the Inventor’s Garage. Trey White, Bethany Shaw, and Sam Uthoff all had their projects displayed and were pitching their ideas to attendees. Sam walked away a winner, with $50, awarded through a pitch contest!
The BIG Advisory Board held their inaugural meeting on Thursday evening. This group is comprised of students, parents, and community members, and function in an advisory role to the program. The table was surrounded by innovate thinkers who are passionate supporters of BIG.
Today a group will visit an aquaponics farm in western Iowa and on Friday, a group will be visiting magnet schools in Minneapolis as part of their work surrounding the Johnson Elementary STEAM project (Full STEAM Ahead). All of this and it’s only Thursday! Welcome to life at BIG.