Innovation Learning Pathways
Our Innovation Learning Pathways (ILP) program is targeted for motivated students that want to pursue self-defined learning objectives. By supporting these individuals with the proper structure and mentoring, our goal is to help them realize their potential for innovation in a way that cannot be accomplished in the classroom. This is a “learn by doing” exercise that will help participants understand what it takes to move from theory to practice. Recognizing that students need to progress through various developmental milestones to realize our target outcome, the ILP program is broken down into three stages which students progress through as they demonstrate the corresponding ability and desire: 1) ILP Incubator 2) ILP Project 3) ILP Accelerator
All accepted ILP participants begin in the incubator which incorporates aspects of:
- Discovery and exploration – Exposure to concepts and ideas in STEM through peer talks, reading groups, and industry presentations
- Core competencies – Development of “how to work” skills that enable autonomy
- Personalized learning objectives – Self-defined monthly development goals with accountability metrics
Participants are supported during the incubator by a group facilitator as well as industry mentors matched to their specific interests and goals. The Incubator is the forum where participants develop a genuine passion for exploring new ideas, and where they can formulate a proposal to submit and defend as an ILP Project.
Students that successfully defend an ILP Project proposal join a distinguished cohort of peers that dedicate approximately 10 hours a week to their idea. These individuals receive additional mentoring and support and are assigned facilitators to assist them on a weekly basis.
The ILP Accelerator is a residential, invitation-only summer program for ILP participants that have demonstrated the ability to deliver strong results in their ILP Project(s). It is an opportunity for these “best of the best” to come together and either launch / make progress on a new initiative, or progress on an existing ILP Project in a dedicated venue and time frame. The ILP Accelerator will host its first cohort in Summer 2019.
Eligibility and Guidelines
The ILP Incubator and Project stages of the program are delivered through virtual interactions (video conferences, online chat, etc.). Interested participants can apply throughout the year. In general, we consider students that are at least 13 years old and have not yet started their senior year of high school for the Incubator program. Some additional details include:
- Students are expected to be available and have access to a computer and Internet in the evenings (US Central Time)
- Students will be asked to identify an adult shepherd (typically a parent, though it can be a family member, teacher, etc.) that will support them during their participation in the program
- By design the program is continuous and includes a monthly program fee (partial scholarships available based on financial need). While participants can pause their membership as needed during the year, new students are expected to commit to (at least) three consecutive months in the program.
Interested in Learning More?
We invite students and parents to attend online information sessions to learn more about the ILP program and application process for the Incubator. During these sessions attendees will have a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the program as well as ask any questions they might have.