2050 Step 1 Explore

Common Core State Standards

Reading Anchor Standard 2:
Determine central ideas or themes of a text* and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Reading Anchor Standard 3:
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text

* Please note 
“text” is interchangeable with multiple forms of content such as: article, video, website, discussion, etc.
Design Learning Process Step 1  |  Explore

Explore  |  Lesson Prior to UK Link


Step 1)  Explore   Frame problem set worth solving

Prepare participants for the challenge with a fun exercise to explore key concepts, important skills, and connections

Engage in Fun Sensory Exercise

1.1   Students kick-off the challenge by experiencing a fun and playful sensory-based exercise – one that invites learners to explore key concepts, vocabulary, and skills


1.2   Learners take a scored but non-graded PRE-challenge assessment to capture student levels of understanding and depth of knowledge of key concepts

Activity 1

Explore Part I – Introductory Exercise (two 45-min sessions)

Refer to Sensory Exercise Sheet (80 min)

Conduct PRE-Assessment (10 min)

Unpack Key Concepts and Skills

1.3   Students discuss, unpack, and make sense of key concepts and skills – as well as connections to prior knowledge and previous experiences

Activity 2

Explore Part II – Unpack Concepts and Skills (50 min)

Students read "The Candidate Skills/Qualities Employers Want" report and “The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired” article (20 min)  Note: articles can be read and discussed in any format.

Vocab: students explore differences in hard and soft skills* (5 min)

 Video – The Future Will Not Be Multiple Choice (12 min)

Class Discussion - What are some of the problems you see based on this information? (10 min) Note: students take notes, teacher collects to serve as reference for next session

Identify the Problem

1.4   Learners discover a real-world problem worth solving – one that is relevant, doable within the allotted time, offers accessible resources, and aimed at purposeful contribution(s)

State the Problem

1.5   Students articulate the problem in the form of a statement – one that is easily understood without explanation

Activity 3

Explore Part III – Define the Problem (50 min)

Teacher should quickly review class discussion from previous activity—what were some of the main points, conclusions you reached?

Students think back to the previous class discussion about the articles and video. What are 2-3 things that you think are most important about the articles, video, discussion? Write them down.

Students get into small groups (3-4) and discuss the 2-3 points you came up with. Do you have any similarities among your answers? As a group, decide on the 2-3 most important things/problems you see related to jobs in the future. Collectively, write one initial problem statement that is easily understood without explanation.

*   From Wikipedia: Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual's interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person's skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills relate to a person's ability to interact effectively with coworkers and customers and are broadly applicable both in and outside the workplace.

Doris Wells-Papanek,
Feb 5, 2014, 10:10 AM