Innovationsforløb inspireret af Google Grenaa Gymnasium

Innovation project course inspired by Google

Is it possible to develop cigarette filters that are biodegradable? Could a canteen app be a tool to diminish food waste and reduce the time one has to stand in line during the lunch break? Is it a good idea to be listening to music while doing homework?

During this spring term ideas, questions and solutions have been sprouting among the STX year students. They have participated in a project course aiming to develop their innovative capacities. The course was conceptualized and planned by some of Grenaa Gymnasium’s teachers in physics and social studies.

Unleashing the students

Social studies teacher Rune Lauritzen explains: “We were inspired by Google’s 20%-project that allowed staff members to spend 20% of their working hours on what ever they wanted as long as the aim was to benefit Google. This generated ideas and solutions that might not have come to any one’s mind.”
“So, we decided to allocate some of our lessons over a defined period of time to a project where the students were free to work on any idea they wanted to,” Rune Lauritsen continues. “It did not have to be related to neither physics nor social studies, but it had to aim at creating new value, solve a problem or cover a need. In other words, it had to be innovative. Furthermore the assessment criteria were the application of research, realizability and presentation.”

Winning project: A Greener Grenaa Gymnasium

First year student Pernille Skøtt, together with two class mates, developed the idea that was awarded the first prize at the presentation event. “We named our project A Greener Grenaa Gymnasium, the aim of it being to make students at our school more aware of waste sorting. So our idea is to improve waste sorting at Grenaa Gymnasium. Currently only paper and card board is separated and we’ve researched the possibilities and challenges related to separating glass as well,” she explains. “Waste is a problem globally and we are trying to contribute to a solution locally. Our reseach has revealed not only the practical and economic challenges, but also that informing and convincing our fellow students will be crucial in order to make all of us commit and feel responsible.”

Especially the assessment criteria of realizability entailed that the students during their research could not rely on their teachers. “They had to find out who would have expertize relevant for their specific project and contact them,” Rune Lauritzen explains. “So, some have for example enquired at the local waste disposal company, some found it useful to talk to one of town’s bicycle repairers and some called the Aalborg Zoo.” At the core of this project course was the aim of freeing the students from some of the restrictions that class room lessons have and encourage them to interact with the world outside,” says Rune Lauritzen.