How have innovations and ideas changed the world? (MYP 2)

In their current unit, MYP 2 students are exploring the overarching question “how have innovations and ideas changed the world?” They are learning about various examples of ideas and innovations from history. Although the focus is on the Renaissance and the Enlightenment periods in which many new ideas and innovations flourished, students are encouraged to look at innovations from all points in history, including the 20th and 21st centuries.

Image result for da vinci inventions

The students are investigating several sub-questions such as:

  • What innovations and ideas came about from the Renaissance? (Factual question)
  • Who were some of the significant individuals from the Renaissance? (Factual question)
  • What were some of the important changes that occurred during the Enlightenment? (Factual question)
  • What is an idea or an innovation? (Conceptual question)
  • What makes an idea or innovation significant? (Conceptual question)
  • Does change affect everyone? (Debatable question)

As usual, the unit will culminate with a challenging summative assessment project. Students in MYP 2 are currently working on these now. Students have been asked to choose one monumental idea or innovation that they think has changed the world – and then do a project on it. They each chose an idea that they find personally interesting and/ or relevant. 

Students could choose an idea or innovation from the following list, or they could come up with their own idea: 

Most of the students picked from the list, however, a few decided to come up with their own innovation to explore, such as pharmaceuticals and the face mask.

What does the project involve?

In their project, students will introduce the idea/ innovation; explain what the story behind it is and how the idea/ innovation came to be in the first place; explain who was involved and whether there was any resistance to the idea; explain why it is significant and why they think it changed the world; and provide examples of different perspectives on the idea/ innovation, such as opposition to the idea and/ or different viewpoints on its legitimacy or significance. This final part of the project- considering different viewpoints on the innovation- is an important part of the project that provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their critical thinking skills. Instead of focusing on their own opinions and feelings about the innovation, students must explore the views of other people – both for and against the innovation.

To increase motivation, students could choose the format for their project. For example, they could make an educational video, a short documentary, an essay or report, a speech, a presentation, or a different idea of their choice!

Image result for printing press white background
The printing press, invented in the 15th century

Their projects are looking good so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how the final products turn out! 

Stay tuned for a follow-up blog next month with some samples from the students’ projects 🙂 

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