From the Principal's Office: The Lowell Milken Center Discovery Award

Innovation and creativity are at the core of the American spirit and they are the qualities that build the foundation for progress in education, technology, business, and, well, just about everything. As a principal, I often write about of the importance of creativity, innovation, and discovery in the classroom.

When it comes to innovating in the classroom, project-based learning has gained increased attention as teachers and reformers seek ways to the move our classrooms away from the often mundane textbook-based lesson plan and lecture structure. Giving students a more open path and an interactive way in which to make their journey can be the key to unlocking their creativity and engagement with learning, regardless of the subject.

With this in mind, I wanted to share an exciting new opportunity to energize your students to try project-based learning for themselves through the Lowell Milken Center Discovery Award. The Lowell Milken Center was named for and founded by education philanthropist Lowell Milken in 2007. The Kansas-based organization has been churning out rather impressive projects that have resulted in national and world news coverage ever since. They are now offering students the chance to win a whopping $10,000 for their efforts in uncovering an unknown historical figure. The winners of the Lowell Milken Center Discovery Award will be announced in September and I can't wait to see what history students and teachers have come up with in pursuit of this goal. If you haven't yet heard about this award, the Lowell Milken Center asked students across America to create projects around the story of an unsung hero who has changed history. Students can present their discovery as a documentary film, a performance, or a website, giving them the freedom to harness the best multi-media format for their projects.

I encourage parents and teachers to share this opportunity with their kids. I'm certainly planning to promote this organization and its award to my students and colleagues. The Lowell Milken Center Discovery Award is the kind innovative contest that makes learning come alive for students.

cross-posted on A Principal's Reflections

Eric Sheninger is a NASSP Digital Principal Award winner (2012), PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient (2012), winner of Learning Forward's Excellence in Professional Practice Award (20 12), Google Certified Teacher, Adobe Education Leader, ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar, co-author of Communicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals and What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Science, writer on education for the Huffington Post, co-creator of the Edscape Conference, sits on the FEA Board of Directors, and was named to the NSBA "20 to Watch" list in 2010 for technology leadership. He now presents and speaks nationally to assist other school leaders embrace and effectively utilize technology. His blog, A Principal's Reflections, was selected as Best School Administrator Blog in 2011 by Edublogs.