The Innovation Trimester (I-Tri) is a new program where Loomis students will spend a term outside of their regular classes identifying and solving problems in the local Windsor/Greater Hartford area.
Members of the Class of 2019 at Loomis will participate in the inaugural I-Tri in the spring of 2019.
Students will practice human-centered design and learn project management techniques and skills.
The mission of the Innovation Trimester is to provide the time and space for students to create something meaningful that will have a positive impact on others. Students will develop a sense of agency and empowerment, and realize the positive impact that they can have on the world around them.
The Innovation Trimester supports the mission of the school, which inspires in students a commitment to the best self and the common good. Through Loomis's excellent academic curriculum, students develop their best selves and gain deep knowledge in particular academic and extracurricular areas. The Innovation Trimester gives students the opportunity to expand the breadth of their knowledge and skills, including empathy, required to be a part of an interdisciplinary team that is trying to make a positive difference in the world. This supports their commitment to the common good.
The Innovation Trimester is a capstone experience through which meaning is brought to a student's education beyond the pursuit of academic knowledge. Students will develop passion and purpose through the completion of projects which have an impact on individuals in the local community. Through rich projects, students will develop their creative confidence, initiative, resilience, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, empathy, and communication skills.
The following characteristics and skills will be developed and assessed throughout the Innovation Trimester program.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Identify, define, and solve authentic problems
- Collect, assess, and analyze relevant information
- Reflect critically on learning experiences, processes, and solutions
- Creativity and Innovation
- Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (brainstorming, divergent & convergent thinking)
- View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term cyclical process of small success and frequent mistakes
- Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur
- Initiative and Self-Direction
- Set goals with tangible and intangible success criteria
- Utilize time and manage workload efficiently
- Monitor, define, prioritize, and complete tasks without direct oversight
- Persist to accomplish difficult tasks and to overcome academic and personal barriers to meet goals
- Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
- Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes, and intentions
- Demonstrate understanding of others’ perspectives and needs
- Listen with an open mind to understand others’ situations
The students will go through several design cycles using a human-centered design process. The early projects will be facilitated by the faculty and the later projects will grant students more independence in their work.
As seen in the schedule below, students will have time to learn and practice techniques required for their projects, such as interviewing, agile/scrum frameworks, data analysis, and public speaking.
The last and largest challenge in the program will allow students the opportunity to use their skills to find and define the question/problem worth solving.
This is a sample weekly schedule for the Innovation Trimester.
The schedule allows students to still participate in Community Time engagements such as advising meetings, dorm meetings, and convocations. It also allows students to participate in extracurricular activities such as interscholastic athletics. While this schedule is a template, the schedule could vary based on the demands of specific design challenges being addressed in the program.
The whole group will meet together every morning to discuss the program for the day, reflect on where they have been and where they are heading with their projects.
LSC (Learn Something Cool):
This is a skills development workshop that will take place on most days. This gives students dedicated time to learn and practice new skills.
Wednesday Weekly Design Challenge:
The more opportunities students have to practice design cycles, the better they will be at the skills involved. This time gives students a break from their larger projects, in order to practice their skills on smaller, less intense challenges.
At least one day per week the students will be interacting with innovators in their communities through case studies, on-campus speakers, or off-campus fieldwork.
- Who is eligible for the I-Tri?
- Where will the I-Tri take place?
- Why should students participate in the I-Tri?
- Can students still participate in interscholastic athletics while in the I-Tri?
- How will the I-Tri appear on students' transcript?
- What happens to students' full-year classes?
- What about AP Exams . . .
- Do students need to be on campus every evening?
- How do students apply?
- Is this program only for “A” students?
- Who is teaching/running this program?
- How can parents get involved?
- What about graduation requirements?
- How will students spend their days?
- How does the I-Tri intersect with the rest of the Loomis community and its routines?
The "home base" of the I-Tri will be in the Pearse Hub for Innovation, situated on the ground floor of the newly renovated Campus Center building. However, the students in the program will use a variety of locations for their learning which will be determined by the activity they are doing at any given time.
The days will be spent in a traditional classroom in the Pearse Hub for Innovation as well as in the field. There will be time spent outside of the classroom researching, interviewing, observing, and getting feedback to aid students in their design process. There will be time spent in the classroom collaborating, designing, and prototyping. As the term progresses, the students might have more flexibility with their daily schedules, with regular check-ins from adults and other faculty members. For a sample schedule, visit the schedule page.
Here are some sample programs at Loomis Chaffee that might intersect with a student's time in the I-Tri, and our solutions to these.
Students will fulfill their work job requirement in the Pearse Hub for Innovation.
Students will keep their advisor for the entire year. During the program, if there are required advisor meetings, students in the I-Tri will attend those meetings.
Convocations, Class Meetings, Family Style Dinner, Clubs
Students will participate in required community events such as convocations, class meetings, and family style dinner. Students can participate in clubs as long as the meeting times do not conflict with the requirements of their I-Tri schedule.
Boarding students who are RAs will remain in their position during the spring term.