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A Richer Learning Experience

See real-world examples of how students and mentors find opportunities for learning beyond the boundaries of a typical school format.

Launch Academy Entrepreneurship, Maryland

In 2015, Opportunity Education began working with a Washington D.C.-based serial entrepreneur to create a pilot version of an entrepreneurship program called Launch Academy. The course is an introduction to principles of entrepreneurship, including problem identification, product design, marketing, finance, and team building. Among these young entrepreneurs was Nebeyou Esayas, then a senior in Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD. As part of Launch Academy, Nebeyou launched his first startup—a website where students could digitally submit to their schools the required forms used to track service learning hours.

Launch Academy was piloted in early 2016 and then ran multiple times from November 2016 to January 2017 at private schools in Maryland and at the Under Armour House in East Baltimore. In May 2018, WorkSource Montgomery—the Montgomery County workforce development agency in Maryland—launched the next iteration of Launch Academy, called Launch Montgomery.

Bellevue University, Nebraska

Bellevue University created a Quest Forward-based design thinking course in early 2015. During this 12-week course, students identify a problem in their community and use design thinking to propose and prototype a solution. Bellevue University piloted Thinking by Design with first-year students in the fall of 2016, and has offered the course in every semester since then. Bellevue also offers the course to Quest Forward students in Tanzania, with local mentoring by trained Quest Forward mentors. Learn more about what made this course a success at Bellevue.

Burrell High School, Pennsylvania

In March, 2017, Burrell High School, a rural public school located outside of Pittsburgh, PA, ran a Quest Forward program where fifty-two 12th grade students learned about the Vietnam War era. An Advanced Placement English teacher and a history teacher collaborated to create an interdisciplinary project that brought together students from two different classes into a shared learning experience, which helped them connect with the subjects and one another in more meaningful and relevant ways.

Glasgow Middle School, Virginia

In the 2016-2017 school year, two Glasgow, VA, teachers used Quest Forward programs in their classrooms during the school’s Flexible Instruction Time at the end of the school day, with a focus on academic enrichment or to address remediation needs. During the 2017-2018 school year, Glasgow continued to use Quest Forward during FIT. All seven teachers in Glasgow’s 8th-grade Civics department opted to use Quest Forward three days per week, with a 4-level civics course. In total, 151 students participated in the program.

Why Implement a
Quest Forward Program?

Increasingly schools are implementing more student-centric, personalized learning approaches, often trying to improve instruction through technology. However, without the right methodology, curriculum, and technology effectively implementing personalized learning is almost impossible to do right.

Quest Forward enables schools to provide discovery-driven, skills-forward learning for one subject or many, and can deliver on the goals of schools to improve their work.

From Our Mentors

Our new Thinking by Design course uses the discovery-based Quest Forward learning method, and the results are really exciting. Students are working harder, learning more…all while learning design thinking fundamentals and how to contribute to project teams—which will be essential determinants of their future career success.
— Mary Hawkins, PhD., President, Bellevue University
Using Quest Forward is a balance. This is the content we collected, but this is students’ journey to explore and go down their own path.
— Brian Kear, Thinking By Design Mentor, Bellevue University
The whole class has a desire to learn that was missing before [in their traditional classes]. Now the learners feel they need to learn, they don’t wait for the mentors to tell them what to do, they tell the mentors.
— Mussa John Challa, Thinking By Design Mentor, Mtakuja Secondary School, TZ
The Me to We program in particular was big hit with our students! The program connected very well to other initiatives that we are currently working to the point where we are going to continue to offer Me to We to additional students, during the 2018-2019 school year.
— Todd Price, Principal, Montour High School, U.S.
We had one learner, Sophia. She is very quiet by nature. She’s very shy and loves to be in the back of the room. She lets everyone go ahead of her, and then she’ll follow behind them. But the most amazing thing, in the Marshmallow Challenge, she took the leading role. She listened to everyone’s ideas, then came up with a structure that incorporated all ideas. The level of confidence and trust in herself that Sophia has is definitely a huge win.
— Mussa John Challa, Thinking By Design Mentor, Mtakuja Secondary School, TZ
We’ve had an outstanding collaboration between OE and ourselves developing this course. From start to finish, there have been a lot of hands in the pot, lots of help and overall what we have come up with is an outstanding course. And the way we have things set up has afforded an opportunity to have students more engaged.
— Brian Kear, Thinking By Design Mentor, Bellevue University
Glasgow Middle School is one of the most diverse schools in the entire state. We have every type of learner you could possibly imagine. Finding ways to make sure teachers are able to meet the diverse needs of their students is something that is at the top of my list every day. Quest! has been a wonderful solution to that. Students get to pick what they’re interested in, they get to pursue it at their own pace. Teachers get to work as mentors instead of as instructors. You are now working through a group of kids and trying to shepard them through their own exploration of learning.
— Sarah Beck, Academic Dean & Assistant Principal, Glasgow Middle School, U.S.
I learn a lot from students in the course. They bring up issues and teach me just as much as I teach them.
— Brian Kear, Thinking By Design Mentor, Bellevue University

Ready to Get Started?

Opportunity Education provides significant planning, implementation, orientation, and change management support for a Quest Forward Program.

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