Building strong communication skills is a key ingredient in your student's success. That's why the LifOpps Communicating with Confidence Learning Lab has gained popularity since 2021. The Lab is a hands-on, engaging, and project-based learning experience offered at over 10 schools in PYLUSD!
Students perform roles in a mock business or learning laboratories, developing communications skills through an iterative process of learning, doing, and leading. Students are encouraged to explore topics of their interest, expand self-knowledge, and express their creativity and curiosity in various STEAM topics. These student-led labs aim to foster a supportive environment that encourages the 4 C's (Communication, Creativity, Collaboration & Critical Thinking) and a love for learning in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Students talk about themes or topics they care about. With guided feedback, students improve and become more confident in their communication and leadership skills. Check out our students' testimonials below.
In 2020, The National Science Teachers Association drafted a position statement that included the following declaration: STEM education programs should be grounded in the tenets of constructivism supported by the findings of three decades of cognitive science. Integrated STEAM education occurs when:
The LifOpps Learning Lab fosters, develops and exemplifies these tenets.
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Pat McMillan, Author & CEO
In the Learning Labs, students have the chance to explore subjects that captivate their curiosity. Each student brings their individual skills, interests, and personalities, creating a dynamic environment where they share their enthusiasm, acquire new skills, and form connections with their peers. In our REACH Science Expedition Learning Lab that is designed to nurture student curiosity. Students will participate in innovative, fun, and collaborative science projects, presenting their ideas and findings in creative ways that will prepare them for future Slingshot or FLL Challenges!
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STUDENT OUTCOMES & LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
SKILLS STUDENTS WILL PRACTICE DURING THE LAB:
Students who can express themselves clearly, actively participate in classroom discussions, and form positive relationships are better equipped to excel in the classroom.
Students learn to offer feedback and work collaboratively with others to complete a presentation or innovation project on a topic they are interested in.
Communication allows students to express their ideas and creativity. The Learning Labs empower students to share their interest, unique ideas, and engage in imaginative play.
Effective communication equips students with essential problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. The Learning Labs fosters an environment for students to articulate their thoughts, actively listen, and express their viewpoints respectfully.
Communication in the Learning Lab nurtures empathy, self-knowledge, and understanding of other's perspectives. Students will practice active listening, gain self-awareness, and express empathy towards others.
By developing effective communication skills early, the Learning Labs help students lay a solid foundation for their future endeavors, including further education, college & career preparation, and successful social and interpersonal skills.
"Thank you so much for helping our students grow in so many impressive ways! They became much more confident speakers, learned to take leadership roles in a group and made a few new friendships. The lessons they learned are ones they will take with them for the rest of their lives. I welcome the opportunity to work with you again. Our students benefit so much!"
"Being an introvert and with the covid lockdown for two years, my son was hesitant/resistant at first to take this class, but now that he no longer has it, he said he kind of "miss it a little." This class has exceeded our expectations and the facilitator is kind enough to give us (parents) next steps to continue with my son's communicating growth journey. If there is another class, we would definitely sign up again."
"What a wonderful class! I hope you will continue the Learning Labs at our school. We can not wait to see you again. I pray that you do the classes all year long at school."
"Thank you so much for this amazing class! I see it as a stepping stone to growing. It's so important for our kids to become better and stronger as they grow into who they are becoming."
"I definitely believe it (the Learning Labs) was a huge benefit to all who were able to participate."
"Overall, the (Learning Lab) sessions were a success. The students enjoyed participating in the Learning Labs. They developed new skills that will come in handy as they grow in their education. It was a great learning experience."
The LifOpps Learning Labs Facilitators are professionally trained speakers with decades of experience in profit, non-profit, and government sectors including education, business, finance, management, operations and leadership. Most of our facilitators have Master Degrees in their specialized fields.
After completing the Learning Lab during the summer of 2021, Evelyn shared this story in the fall. (The content has been paraphrased for brevity.)
"I recently joined a club called Cyber Patriots/Cyber Security at my school. I think the Communicating with Confidence Learning Lab helped me a lot in giving my speech and having enough confidence to do so, so thank you!
I applied to be a Officer and gave a speech in front of 80+ people!! I was elected as 1 of 2 secretaries!
The Learning Lab have given us so many opportunities this year including presenting at the Empowered: Women in Industry District Event. We've grown a lot, not only in our confidence and public speaking skills, but also mentally and personally.
Thank you so much! I hope 2022 will be an even better year for the REACH Foundation."
"One thing I've learned is that it is better to learn how to communicate correctly sooner rather than later, as the use of communications will always remain an important part of our future."
"Learning to take initiative, learning about how to be confident with speaking, and learning how to give feedback in a way that others can use to help themselves."
The Learning Lab allows for students to expand and develop their communications skills while in a safe environment so that even if they're nervous or make a mistake, it's ok, and they know no one will judge them for that. It allows students to have fun while learning and to think deeply about STEM topics and practice their writing skills when preparing their speeches using the Communicating Outline Checklist.
I enjoy how it's structured. How there are certain things that we do every day, the games. How we get to learn about new things every day with the speeches.
At the LifOpps Learning Labs, we are committed to providing a positive and valuable learning experience through our Communicating with Confidence Class. To ensure that your student(s) will achieve the expected learning outcomes, please review the following guidelines:
Students are expected to attend every Lab and give their best efforts. Students will be encouraged to speak about topics that interest them, especially topics they are learning in school. Students will have access to the Learning Lab documents, PDFs and worksheets to help them work efficiently and effectively.
For in-person Learning Labs Student Expectations:
At LifOpps, we understand that circumstances may arise that require a refund, although this infrequently occurs. Please review our refund policy below:
LifOpps Learning Lab Guarantee:
1. LifOpps Guarantee:
2. Refund Amount:
3. Non-Refundable Situations:
4. Excused Absences: When a student is planning to be absent, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The LifOpps facilitators will help your student catch up. In addition, your student will also receive support from their classmates.
Our facilitators and staff have invested a significant amount of time to plan for a successful and productive experience for your students. We are thankful for the opportunity to work with your students. Thank you so much for your cooperation and support!
We welcome your comments and suggestions at email@example.com.