The SLIC project has been specifically designed to appeal to students with a wide range of interests and abilities. In contrast, STEAM initiatives generally attract students who already have an interest in science, math, and technology. It is our goal to encourage every high school student to participate in the SLIC Project, and to have a fun experience while learning.
VDOE is offering teachers the SLIC Module as a complete, ready-to-use set of project based learning lesson plans. Schools may incorporate the SLIC Module into their language arts or science classes, creating an opportunity for every student to participate in the SLIC Project. They may also consider incorporating the module into CTE classes based on the focus of the challenge questions.
The Challenge Questions
The students will be given a choice of three challenge questions to choose from. These questions come from different fields and reflect some of the nation’s most significant contemporary challenges.
This year’s SLIC challenge questions are:
- Education – How can we better prepare graduating students for college, career and life?
- Agriculture & Global Warming – How can we encourage and coordinate people around the world to do composting in their yards, in parks, on both active and inactive farmland, etc.?
- Technology & Robotics – How can we create a light-weight small unmanned aviation vehicle (UAV, sometimes referred to as a drone) with “sense and avoid” capabilities so it doesn’t crash into objects?”
The ISC, in partnership with the VDOE, will be providing teacher training throughout the regions in Virginia and via webinars, along with the SLIC Module. The module will include:
- Complete set of lesson plans
- Rubric for grading purposes
- Criteria against which the evaluators will judge the ideas
- List of skills students will be acquiring/building upon
- Challenge questions from which students can choose
- Application questions the students must answer
- All necessary templates and worksheets for students’ use
- Sample set of answers
- Suggestions for team creation and team management
- Quick reference guide on how to use the platform
Teachers are encouraged to allocate time in their yearly lesson plans for the SLIC Project between mid-October through January 31. The project will require approximately 1.5 hours of instruction that will be best divided up over two class periods with time in between for students to work on the project. The project will require an estimated 6-8 hours of student work time, which can be performed as class time, homework time, or a combination of the two
The SLIC Competition
In addition to the SLIC Project being an engaging learning experience for the students, it is also a competition. The challenge questions that are presented to the students come from actual organizations with real hard-to-solve problems. These organizations are interested in the ideas that students will create. Therefore, not only will students’ submissions be graded based on their ability to demonstrate an understanding of the skills the lessons that the lessons teach (based on the rubric), but they will also be judged separately on the merit of their idea (based on the judging criteria). Therefore, it is possible for a student team to receive a high grade, but not be selected for their idea; or conversely receive a low grade, but be selected for their idea.
Student teams who create the most impactful and innovative ideas will be recognized as the winners and receive scholarships; an opportunity to build out their design idea into a prototype with the assistance of industry and/or academia experts in each of the specific challenge areas; and invited to demonstrate their prototype to key stakeholders who are actively looking for these types of solutions. Winners will be selected for each of the three challenges. It is important to mention that all students who participate in the initiative will be recognized and appreciated, and be able to cite participation on college applications and resumes.
Teachers of winning teams will also be rewarded. The educators who are supporting the winners from each region will receive $500 to use on Project Based Learning activities in their classrooms.
Mark Your Calendar
|Oct 17-28, 2016||Teacher training on SLIC at locations throughout each region and via webinars|
|Oct 17-31, 2016||Students complete pre-program questionnaire; begin SLIC Project|
|Oct 17, 2016-Jan 31, 2017||Students work on SLIC Project|
|Jan 16-27, 2017**||SLIC evaluator training|
|Feb 9, 2017||School team winners announced|
|Feb 17, 2017||Division team winners announced|
|March 2 and Mar 7, 2017**||Division team winners compete for regional team championship at the University of Virginia on March 2, 2017, and at Virginia Tech on March 7, 2017. Idea submissions are presented in front of a panel of industry expert judges|
|April 1, 2017**, State Championship Event||Regional team winners compete for the state team championship at Virginia Commonwealth University, in front of a panel of industry expert judges. The state championship will be held at Virginia Commonwealth University from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University Student Commons, 907 Floyd Avenue, Richmond, VA, 23284|