October 7, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Announcing the Student-Led Ideation Challenge (SLIC) 2016 Program

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the Student-Led Ideation Challenge (SLIC) Program. The SLIC Program is a competitive ideation challenge utilizing Design Thinking principles that is open to all high school students in Virginia and is being offered in collaboration with the VDOE and the Innovative Solutions Consortium at no cost to students, schools, or school divisions. The purpose of the SLIC Program is to further prepare Virginia's students for the world ahead via their participation in project-based learning opportunities that will support the development of critical skills while enhancing general student knowledge through meaningful engagement in a variety of real-world topic areas.

The Innovative Solutions Consortium (ISC), a Virginia non-profit and national leader in public challenges, successfully implemented the Loudoun County Public Schools Challenge in 2015. Using the Loudon Challenge as a model, the VDOE in collaboration with the ISC looks forward to piloting the SLIC program this year and will seek input and feedback from students, teachers, and other state and local leaders on further refining the program for future challenges.

The SLIC program presents students with selecting a challenge question and working in a team to brainstorm ideas to solve the challenge. Students will develop a proposed solution to the challenge question, verify and validate the solution through research on similar solutions in the marketplace, and develop and implement a plan with estimated costs and measurement tools.  The winners will have the opportunity to build their prototype of the solution and present it to key stakeholders culminating in school, division, regional, and state-level competitions. Additionally, schools/teachers that support the winning teams from each region will receive $500 to use on future project-based learning activities in their classrooms.

The SLIC challenge questions for this year are in the areas of education, agriculture and global warming, and technology and robotics and are designed to be implemented in the subject areas of English/Language Arts, Science, Mathematics, and Career and Technical Education.

In preparation for this effort, two-hour training sessions will be provided in all eight regions during the month of October. This training will be available to teachers, counselors, Instructional Technology Resource Teachers (ITRTs) or other educators that will provide support to student ideation teams. For those unable to attend the in-person training, live-webinars, recorded training, and other supporting documentation and points-of-contact will be made available.

The available in-person and webinar training sessions by region are as follows (session sign-up is available as part of the SLIC registrationThis link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website process):

REGION 1

VA Department of Education
James Monroe Building
101 N 14th Street, 22nd Floor Conference Room
Richmond, VA 23219

10/21/16
9:00-11:00AM

REGION 2

Tidewater Community College
Advanced Technology Center
1800 College Crescent
Virginia Beach, VA 23453

10/21/16
3:00-5:00PM

REGION 3

Stafford Hospital Center
101 Hospital Center Blvd.
Stafford, VA 22554

10/25/16
8:30-10:30AM

REGION 4

Loudoun County Public School
Administration Building, 100C
2100 Education Court
Ashburn, VA  20148

10/28/2016
2:00-4:00PM

REGION 5

Monticello High School
1400 Independence Way
Charlottesville, VA 22902

10/26/16
9:00-11:00AM

REGION 6

Roanoke County Public Schools
Central Offices, Room E
5937 Cove Road
Roanoke, VA 24019

10/26/16
1:30-3:30PM

REGION 7

Wytheville Community College
1000 E Main Street
Wytheville, VA 24382

10/26/16
5:00-7:00PM

REGION 8

Luther P. Jackson Adult Education Center
16 School Road
Cumberland, VA 23040

10/25/16
2:00-4:00PM

ALL REGIONS

ISC: Webinar 1
Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/424525877This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States +1 (571) 317-3117
Access Code: 424-525-877 

10/20/16
4:00-6:00PM

ALL REGIONS

ISC: Webinar 2
Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/424525877This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States +1 (571) 317-3117
Access Code: 424-525-877 

10/28/16
9:00-11:00AM

 

If you have any questions about the SLIC program, you may contact Bobby F. Keener, Chief Technology Innovations Officer or Dr. Susan M. Clair, Learning Infrastructure Coordinator at Innovation@doe.virginia.gov

If teachers need assistance registering in the SLIC portal, email support@slic-solutions.com.
For any other general questions or concerns, Michelle Chance, Director of the ISC, can be reached at michelle.chance@isc-connect.org or by phone at (571) 246-2411.

SRS/bk

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