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By Emily Griffin

My name is Gabe Evans, and I am the Design teacher for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP) at the International School of Indiana (ISI). And starting in August, I’m excited to increase my involvement in the IB Program as the IB Diploma Program (DP) coordinator, where I am responsible for leading and supporting the further development of the DP curriculum.

I teach students to design and create solutions to problems – solutions that can make an impact on the lives of others in our global and local community and the planet. The IB approach used for this class and others at ISI ultimately forms students into better learners. They learn to think critically and creatively, developing respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciating alternative solutions to problems. Following the IB Learner Profile, students become inquisitive, caring and open-minded. These skills prepare students to enjoy a lifetime of learning.

IB MYP Design focuses on project-based learning (PBL), which places deep conceptual understanding and structured inquiry at the heart of the learning process. PBL is a natural fit within the framework of Design. In my class, we combine PBL with the IB MYP Design Cycle, so students improve their critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration skills. Students learn the importance of inquiry and development for finding a solution to a problem.

The projects in my lessons are tailored to fit individual student needs and interests. Because of this, students find a variety of solutions to their projects, which come to life as prototypes to test and evaluate. A solution can be digital: a virtual reality experience or website that raises the profile of a local or globally important cause or non-profit organization. A solution can also be physical: a healthy food product made from organic ingredients, a tea light made from sustainably sourced timber or jewelry made from recycled or reused materials. Whatever the solution is, the learning outcome is unique to each student.

Seeing my students take responsibility for their actions and learning shows me that I’m helping them become the best version of themselves. The IB program understands that there are more ways to check a student’s understanding than tests, and there is more to learning than the repetition of facts. The skills and concepts my students retain through the MYP’s experiential curriculum will stay with the students throughout their educational careers.

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For the second-consecutive year, ISI is proud to claim a National Merit Finalist among its students. Claire Kaneshiro of Indianapolis -- 4.66 GPA, a near-perfect SAT score, and fluency in Chinese, Spanish and English -- is among 15,000 students nationwide chosen for the prestigious honor. Claire now is eligible for one of 7,500 one-time scholarships awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Those awards are expected to be announced in mid-May.

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ISI in the news: ISI, Hamilton Lugar School team up for Language Summer Camp featuring Arabic, Mandarin
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Looking for a unique summer activity for the kids? ISI is partnering with the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University to launch a new language immersion-focused summer camp June 14-25 in Indianapolis. The new ISI Language Summer Camp will offer main programming in two languages — Mandarin and Arabic — to students Pre-K through grade 12. No previous language experience is required. Registration is now open.

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Despite schedules and practices disrupted by COVID-19, the ISI boys closed out the 2020-21 winter sports season on a high note. The basketball team finished third overall in the 10-team Pioneer Conference, the best final conference standing in ISI history, and the swim team finished eighth out of 11 schools in the ISHAA state sectionals, a season finale that included a school record in the 100-yard backstroke.

 

 

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What makes Indiana a great place to live? That’s the focus of a new video campaign sponsored by the Indiana Destination Development Corp. highlighting people from all walks of life who chose to make Indiana their home. And among those recently featured: Head of School Elizabeth Head, who was lured to Indianapolis more than two years ago from her school leadership role and longtime home in Costa Rica.

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