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FAQS

 

About the Program

How does Big Idea Project work?

Our proven model is to use service as a tool for learning, in parallel with highly relevant content. Students observe the world around them to identify an issue that negatively impacts their community. They then work together in teams to be the solution. As they work in and outside of the classroom, they grow as people. They see the world from a new perspective. They learn skills such as responsibility, communication and project management. They recognize what it means to care for themselves and others. They recognize their value and find meaning in their work.

How does the program connect with the business community?

Big Idea Project students work in teams of 3-4 to solve a social problem and lead real impact in their communities. With the help of a local business mentor, students research, plan, test and execute their ideas. Business mentors are a vital part of the Big Idea Project experience.

Does Big Idea Project provide scholarships?

Big Idea Project provides scholarships for students of the winning team from each school. Graduates have 18 months after graduation to claim their scholarship by completing the BIP scholarship request form. BIP will send the award check directly to the accredited college/university or trade school.

What can I expect a student to learn from participating in the program?

From empathy, to problem solving, to social/emotional skills, to being workforce ready, students are impacted by our ‘whole-student’ approach. Check out the Student page for more info by clicking here.

What does Big Idea Project cost?

Big Idea Project is a non-profit organization that relies on districts, schools and community partners to cover the cost of the entire program. There are no direct costs to students to participate in Big Idea Project. (Note: each school may impose a local materials fee.)

What schools are using Big Idea Project?

Currently we are only implementing Big Idea Project in Colorado school’s. However, our program can be implemented in almost any school across the country. Please contact us if you are interested in bringing Big Idea Project to your local school.

2019-2020 Coloardo Schools:

Arapahoe High School
Horizon High School
Legacy High School
Bear Creek High School
Columbine High School
Colorado’s Finest High School
Mountain Range High School
Dakota Ridge High School
Northglenn High School
Crossroads School
Englewood High School
SkyView Academy
Legend High School
Holy Family High School
Thornton High School

Curriculum

How can teach Big Idea Project in my classroom?

The Big Idea Project works with districts and schools to implement the program in the best context for each school. If your school does not offer Big Idea Project, talk to your principal, district or contact us.

Does the curriculum align with academic standards?

The Big Idea Project is currently only in Colorado’s schools. All curriculum is aligned to the Colorado 2020 standards for both English and Math.

The Big Idea Project curriculum is also aligned with CASEL’s social emotional competencies, ICAP standards and the CDE’s Essential Skills.

As a teacher do I have to commit to all the requirements?

Yes. Our certified teachers are the best of the best. They are known by the community and their schools as the innovators who provide life-changing experiences for their students. BIP is vigilant in our pursuit of providing the best experience for students, so committing to all the requirements is vital to implementing BIP in a classroom.

How does Big Idea Project fit into the school?

Schools can choose to implement the Big Idea Project alongside current curriculum in an existing class (such as business or English) or use the official Big Idea Project curriculum in a semester-long elective course. Multi-year programming is currently under construction.

How long is the project?

Currently Big Idea Project is a semester-long curriculum and hands-on project.

When is Big Idea Project implemented?

Big Idea Project is currently being implemented in the Spring semester classes only. Full and multi-year implementation is in development.

 

 

Mentors

How are mentors selected?

Mentoring is a vital aspect of the Big Idea Project experience! Our mentors provide student teams with valuable coaching, insight, and support. Big Idea Project strives to recruit mentors who have strong leadership experience, impeccable character, and who embody Generous Leadership®.

All mentors are recruited and approved by Big Idea Project staff. All mentors must pass a background check (Sterling Volunteers Level 3 Verification). All mentors are required to sign a Mentor Agreement – outlining all program conduct expectations.

How can I become a mentor?

How long does each mentorship last?

Mentors work with students for one semester (about 3.5 months). When you sign up to mentor, you commit to attending six in-class sessions at the school (one hour each), attending your team’s presentation event at the end of the project, communicating weekly with your team using BIP’s online project platform, and participating in the mentor orientation and training (online sessions available).

What is the role of a BIP mentor?

Big Idea Project mentors provide perspective, advice and connections to teams. Often, the best help a mentor can give is real-world advice and perspective that comes from well-crafted questions.

When you sign up to mentor, you commit to attending six in-class sessions at the school (one hour each), attending your team’s presentation event at the end of the project, communicating weekly with your team using BIP’s online project platform, and participating in the mentor orientation and training (online sessions available).

What will I teach as a mentor?

Above all, it’s about teaching empathy. Big Idea Project mentors practice Generous Leadership® and know it is the key to building future leaders of impact. As a mentor you have an opportunity to guide students in an experience that not only helps them grow in skill but helps lead to a paradigm shift characterized by empathy.

Students

How can I participate in Big Idea Project?

Big Idea Project is implemented by certified local teachers, in their local classroom and in their local school. If your school does not offer Big Idea Project, talk to your principal or favorite teacher. Send them an email with this information.

How long is the project?

Big Idea Project is a semester-long experience. The amount of time you have to work on your project during class is determined by your teacher…

Do we get to choose our mentor?

Mentors are selected by the Big Idea Project and matched to teams by your teacher. Speak with your teacher if you have a specific request.

Does Big Idea Project provide scholarships?

Big Idea Project provides scholarships for students of the winning team from each school. Graduates have 18 months after graduation to claim their scholarship by completing the BIP scholarship request form. BIP will send the award check directly to the accredited college/university or trade school.

What happens after the project is over?

If we have your contact information, you will receive access to ongoing professional experiences, skills training, networking, collaboration with other alumni, events, service opportunities and much more.

 

 

Parents

How can my student participate in Big Idea Project?

The Big Idea Project works with districts and schools to implement the program in the best context for each school. If your school does not offer the Big Idea Project, talk to your principal, district or email a school board member.

My student is doing Big Idea Project. What are we in for?

If your school chooses to offer the Big Idea Project, your student is fortunate to have an opportunity others wish they had.

The Big Idea Project is a service learning program that provides the context, curriculum and real world experience students need to develop workforce ready skills, social emotional competency and leadership experience. Big Idea Project’s program is values-based and focuses on developing the ‘whole child’ by caring for their wellbeing, encouraging their passions and giving students the chance to drive their own learning.

Projects are completely student-led. Teachers provide lessons and coaching that teams need. The project may seem daunting at first, but students rise to the challenge and point back to their work as the pinnacle moment of their high school experience.

The time commitment varies by students and teams. Teachers give students many opportunities to work on their projects in class.

What is the student participation agreement I am asked to sign?

Every student who wishes to participate must have their parent or guardian sign the Parent Agreement Form. This agreement allows your student to be coached by a business mentor and to include your student in photos and video presentation events.

We ask parents to also opt-in their student’s personal contact information so that, through our vast professional network, we can offer students additional opportunities after the project such as on-going professional training, professional seminars, scholarships opportunities, networking with business leaders and opportunities for college and job readiness.

Does Big Idea Project provide scholarships?

Big Idea Project provides scholarships for students of the winning team from each school. Graduates have 18 months after graduation to claim their scholarship by completing the BIP scholarship request form. BIP will send the award check directly to the accredited college/university or trade school.

How much does it cost to participate?

Big Idea Project is a non-profit organization that relies on districts, schools and community partners to cover the cost of the entire program. There are no direct costs to students to participate in Big Idea Project. (Note: each school may impose a local materials fee.)

What happens after the project is over?

All Big Idea Project students are considered BIP alumni. If we have your student’s contact information, they will receive access to ongoing professional experiences, skills training, networking, collaboration with other alumni, events, service opportunities and much more.

 

Questions?