We all know how fast news travels nowadays. Well, it didn’t take long for the students and administrators of Carmichaels Middle School to realize their students had won the title of Top Inventor in the middle school division of the Regional Invention Contest.
The winning group was led by our featured teacher for the month of June, Brittany Phillips, who teaches the Inventionland Innovation course, as well as coding and video game design.
“My principal knew we won before I even told him because the boys immediately started posting on social media,” said Brittany. “The buzz in school the next day was all about Inventionland. I guess you could say that we were trending. I was also proud of the boys because by winning, they secured another year of the Inventionland course for our school.”
Brittany is part of the younger generation of educational leaders who realize that teaching methods need to adapt to the times. Hands-on, project-based learning like the Inventionland Innovation Course provide the framework to build the next generation of innovators. We are so lucky to have such a talented, caring teacher leading the way through our course!
“I feel as though traditional learning styles are becoming incompatible with the way that today’s students are learning,” said Brittany. “They have very short attention spans and require you to almost entertain them to get their attention because you are battling with their cell phones and social media to get it. They’re relying so much on technology for all of their answers that it seems that they are unable to problem-solve or work with groups or even work on their own without asking Google first. Employers are looking to hire people that can think on their own, be resourceful, and have soft skills (like communicating and working with a team) upon graduation. By my students working hands-on, they are finding and fixing their problems, working with people who all have different personalities and work ethic, and taking pride in their work. When they create their own product during the Inventionland course, they are taking accountability of their product and are more invested in it because it’s unique to their group. It’s not standardized.”
Brittany, who has a Master’s of Education degree in Elementary Education from California (Pa.) University, has taught at Carmichaels Middle School since August of 2015. She also teaches summer camps and previously was a substitute teacher. Brittany lives in Monongahela with her husband, Colby, and their cat, Zoey.
Keep up the great work, Brittany! We can’t wait to see what your students come up with next.