Using Her Superpowers for Good…?

Image credit: Youtube

So yesterday, I saw “Betrayed,” the six-minute cinematic trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Eternal Throne, a popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based in the Star Wars universe. Some say this trailer, and the full 29-minute movie it is drawn from, are better than some actual Star Wars movies. Watch and decide for yourself.

Anyway, the video really spoke to me, and our mission in Digital Shop, specifically in regards to empowering girls, a central and strategic theme in my program.

My favorite part in the video occurs about a minute in … the young force-sensitive girl is in the woods trying to learn how to control her powers. She tries, and fails, tries, and fails, then tries again, with all the strength she can muster (anger?) and obliterates a suit of armor hanging from a tree.

For me, the best moment is her surprised reaction in the immediate aftermath of that moment, as the camera pans around … her expression, essentially: “wow, I DID that.”

No spoilers here, you should watch the whole thing, but, yeah. (Not exactly the educational end result I’m going for, but, I’m using the beginning of the video to make my point.)

Superpowers. I’m all about having these kids learn how to channel and control theirs.

I am reminded of this amazing young inventor, Alexis Lewis, whose work I introduced my students to last year:

Click to Watch

At the very end of the movie, she says:

I’m hoping I can do for others what my grandfather did for me, to pass on the invention and innovation bug, and inspire the next generation to have a fascination with the world around them … and to understand that they are capable of changing it. (emphasis mine)

This … is another central and strategic theme in my program … one that applies (and I hope, appeals) to everyone regardless of gender. We plan to use entrepreneurship and innovation as a lens to explore and magnify student creativity – their superpowers.

I’m presently deep in final preparations for Design Experience One, which launches on October 20th, and I’m underwater / overwhelmed … a.k.a. standard operating procedure. Got some excellent news yesterday … Alixandra Klein, the young entrepreneur from Vermont who uses a laser cutter to make jewelry out of reclaimed rubber and metal, will be speaking with my students via Skype.

This is Alixandra and her company, Alixandra Barron Designs:

[We’ll also be Skyping with Andrew Coy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Jorge Valdes, Ph.D. at the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), connections I’m hoping will inform, inspire and challenge my students to think about how making, entrepreneurship and innovation figure into their educational futures.]

Anyway, I’ve been using this pair of Alixandra’s earrings to help kids see what’s possible with a little creativity, a lot of design savvy, and a ridiculously powerful laser cutter:

Click to view on Instagram
Click to view on Instagram

I can’t wait to see where this goes. But for now, it’s back to lesson planning experience designing…


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