How do Challenges, well, challenge our Champions?

5 mins read
How do Challenges, well, challenge our Champions?

It’s no surprise that people learn, and retain learning, in different ways. Remember the kid in school who could study for a couple of hours, memorize all the notes, and ace the test?

But did they really learn the content? Or just memorize it for the short term?

For most of us, we retain what we learn much more deeply when we…

  1. Want to learn it
  2. Learn it by taking action or “doing”

It’s for that reason that we incorporate Challenge-Based Learning and what we call “Challenges” into the IGNITE Pathways curriculum.

Challenge-Based Learning is an approach that encourages our Champions to drive their education experience by choosing a project based on their interests and goals, working individually or with a small team.

Each school term a broad topic is chosen for Challenges. The current term’s topic is “community”.

Champions engage in the Challenge by brainstorming for their personal “big idea” and then turning that into a concrete, actionable Challenge project.

Once the Challenge is defined, Champions investigate and plan their project out, typically working with Challenge partners in the community. This ensures that Challenges meet curriculum requirements for core credit towards graduation.

Champions then take action to implement their Challenge, finding solutions for obstacles, and evaluating their results along the way. Champions link their Challenges with the ability to show competency in core areas along the way to earn core credits for their projects.

These three phases:

  1. Engage
  2. Investigate
  3. Act

…form the framework for all Challenges.


Challenges are a huge opportunity for Champions to explore and do things they wouldn’t normally, including:

  • Working face-to-face with community leaders
  • Designing their results to meet the needs of the team they are working with
  • Planning out a project from start to finish
  • Learning new skills required to complete the project

Some examples of Challenges currently in progress include:

  • Metal sign art for White’s GardensChampion Malachi worked with a representative from the Gardens to determine the signs needed, used his love of drawing to design the signs, and learned basic CAD to create the design templates for metal working. CAD skills are a leverageable skill he can further develop in the IGNITE program.
  • “W” yard signs business ideaChampion John is building a business plan with the help of a Business Partner to sell his metal “W” Woodbine yard signs. He has learned the basics of business planning, cost analysis, and marketing.
  • Community internet café – Broadband access can be a challenge for some in our Woodbine community. This team Challenge is working to create an internet access point for all in our community, run by volunteers.

There are so many other projects in progress that we’d love to share. Schedule a private tour here to learn more.

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