INQspots (INQ short for Inquiry) are a reinvention of old-fashioned library spaces that allow students to explore their interest and learn through more creative outlets. Each of our INQspots houses themed spaces with tools and/or kits aimed at allowing students to explore different ways of learning, self-discovery and innovation.
Active learning in this way harnesses the students’ intrinsic motivation because they “Choose Their Own Adventure!” They can still choose books, but they will have other sensory options as well. Through self-directed work, students actually internalize the “Why” instead of just memorizing the “What.”
Hoover High School INQspot
At Hoover, our INQspot houses several themed areas: Beat Box, Video Vault, Weird Science, Tinker Space, Simulation Space, and Imagination Station.
Creative music making is a wonderful way to promote abstract reasoning and spatial understanding, as well as strengthen social and communication skills. The Beat Box allows students to compose & generate their own music using instruments, recording devices and composition software.
The Video Vault gives students the ability to write, develop and produce their own video content within a mini production studio, featuring cameras, green screens, and computers with editing software. Students can demonstrate self-expression and story-telling through film.
Weird Science offers students with easy-to-use tools to experience with scientific theories and wonders that excite and interest them.
Kids love to take stuff apart, trying to figure out how things work. The Tinker Space provides them with the tools and platforms to dabble and discover through manipulation, developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
In the Simulation Space, students use computer technology to replicate real-life experiences. Imagine designing your own roller coaster, or learning to fly from your own desk top! Students love of gaming draws them in as they experience science, history or the arts in an interactive way.
And of course, we will tap into the imaginations of our students with our books, but our spaces will be more inviting and comfortable, allowing students to truly relax and dive into whatever engaging topics they choose in the pages of a good book!
How does this all tie together? School instructors pose an essential question each week. Students come into the INQspot and choose how they would like to respond to the question.
For example, an essential question for the week could be “How does the past affect me?”
Students could then write a song about an experience or event in the past that has shaped who they are today and record it in the Beat Box. Or they could research their genealogy with their parents and then create a video family tree with old family photographs. Or, in the Simulation Space, a student could journey through an escape route in the Ohio Underground Railroad as an illustration of cultural differences in past society shaping today’s viewpoints