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The team at the Lab is excited to share an opportunity coming up for new and current Futures Lab students in Spring 2021. Given the high level of interest in our Aviation pathway, we are planning to open a new section that will “take off” in January 2021. If you’re interested in joining us for the first time, or you’d like to continue at the Lab but you’re not sure what to sign up for, this is a fantastic option.

If you’re interested or a little bit curious, please enter your name on the interest form at this link.

A few more details if you’re interested in Aviation at the Lab:

Q: Who is this program for?
A: Our Aviation Pathway appeals to a broad range of interests. We have students planning for careers as commercial pilots and air traffic controllers, we have several planning to enter the military or attend the Air Force Academy. We also have students who are primarily interested in earning their drone license so they can apply those skills to a job or other area of interest like film making or forest management. And, of course, we have several who just think drones and flight simulators are cool (They are!) and who were excited about learning to fly them.

Q: How many credits will I earn?
A: Students in our Aviation Pathway will earn 10 PSD Elective credits and new Futures Lab students will also earn 5 Language Arts credits through enrollment in Futures Lab Seminar. (Returning students are not expected to take Seminar again.) In addition, students in Aviation will earn 6 concurrent enrollment credits at Aims Community College for both AVT 155 - UAS Flight Operations & AVT 107 - Aviation Exploration. These credits transfer directly to Aims Flight School for those students interested in continuing to pursue careers in aviation.

Q: What certification will I earn?
A: Students in Aviation who are over the age of 16 are eligible to sit for the FAA Part 107 certificate exam. This certificate is your license to operate a small unmanned aircraft (aka drone) commercially. Futures Lab will pay for your testing if you meet our established criteria.

Q: When does this Pathway happen?
A: Futures Lab runs a morning and an afternoon session each semester. The Spring 2021 section of Aviation will happen in the morning session. Aviation classes will happen from 9:15–10:45 and, depending on what other credits you take with us, you could be here until 12:15. Transportation will be available between your home campus and the Lab.

Q: This sounds fun, but what about these core credits I need to finish at my home campus?
A: In order to ensure Futures Lab programs are accessible to as many students as possible, we offer a handful of 5-credit graduation options while you’re with us. These are not online courses - they are taught by Futures Lab instructors with a unique approach that connects the content to your chosen pathway. For Spring '21, we offer the following graduation options: Humanities, Creative Writing, Economics, and Finance.

Q: How do I sign up and get my schedule changed?
A: That’s the kind of energy we love at the Lab! Fill out the interest form and our counselor, Bethany Condon, will connect with you and your home campus counselor to get the process moving.

Please access a copy of the parent email that was sent on Friday, October 9, and contains everything you need to know about the kickoff of hybrid learning (Phase 3) next week.

Phase 3: Hybrid Learning Email Update

Our On-Demand Back-to-School Event is now online at https://www.futureslablearnerexpo.org. We look forward to connecting with you this week!

Greetings, Futures Lab Families -

As we reach the halfway point of this short, snowy week of school we would like to take a moment to officially welcome you and your learner to the Futures Lab community. We are excited to share that, as of September 8, Futures Lab is serving 130 students this semester in grades 9-12. These learners represent a diverse cross-section of PSD and come from all eight of our secondary schools to engage in hands-on learning across seven different Pathways.

We are excited to share a few quick updates with you:

First, we are pleased to invite you to our virtual Back-to-School event which will run on-demand next week. The event will be online at our Learner Expo website at https://futureslablearnerexpo.org with on-demand teacher videos beginning on Monday, September 14. Teachers will also have individual 10-minute slots available at various times from Tuesday, September 15, through Thursday, September 17, for those who would like to schedule some one-on-one time.

Second, we are continuing to update our website at https://futureslab.psdschools.org. There, you will find information on all our pathways as well as bios of our team members. Several of our semester-long pathways will start or re-start in January so if you have a student in one of our semester-long pathways who'd like to stay with us in the spring, or if you know other families who may be interested, we are excited to continue to grow our programs. Among the one-semester options coming in the spring are our Coding pathway (which is available for math credit), our Business Incubator pathway, and our Audio Production pathway. Based on student demand, we are reviewing the feasability of starting a second section of our popular Aviation pathway in the spring so if that interests you, please let us know. Students in our Coding pathway earn 3 concurrent enrollment credits at AIMS for Mobile App Development and those in our Aviation pathway earn 6 CE credits in the AIMS Aviation program.

Third, we are excited to share that our Young Women in Leadership group is open to female students at any of our PSD high schools; enrollment in Futures Lab classes is not required. YWL has grown quite a bit this year and the new student leadership team and is excited to host upcoming virtual events and (hopefully!) in-person events as soon as it's safe to do so. Please take a look at the YWL website, sign up for email updates, and reach out to our faculty advisor, Heather Emerson, for more information on YWL.

Finally, we would like to share the following message from the PSD Board of Education:
The Board of Education is interested in student feedback and participation in our PSD Student Think Tank! Please complete the form at this link and help us understand the student perspective. (As a side note, it would be fantastic to see Futures Lab students represented in this group! - SE)

Greetings, Futures Lab Families - 

By now you should have received an email from PSD regarding our plan for re-opening schools next month. You may have additional questions specific to your own learners and their home campuses, but I wanted to take a minute to share our plans for Futures Lab classes for the fall semester.

Key Takeaways:

•    Futures Lab is transitioning to a blended learning model to accommodate all interested learners
•    Futures Lab is compatible with PSD Virtual and offers unique elective and core credit opportunities
•    Futures Lab can accommodate students wanting a completely online experience for 2020-2021

First, we are thrilled that you have chosen to be a part of the Futures Lab community and, although things will be different than we'd hoped, we can confirm that Futures Lab classes will happen in 2020-2021. We are committed to working with individual learners to provide an exceptional experience that is flexible and adaptable to the parameters of each student's home campus schedule requirements. In short, changes to schedules at students' home campuses will not be a barrier to participation in Futures Lab pathways. In fact, we are excited to confirm that students who make the choice to attend PSD Virtual for 2020-2021 can still participate in our Futures Lab pathways.

Futures Lab represents a cross-section of learners from all PSD secondary schools. With school schedules and district calendars continually evolving, flexibility will be critical for our learners. Our goal is to provide a consistent experience regardless of PSD's current phase or the varied schedules at students' home campuses. To that end, we are shifting all of our pathways to a blended learning model where a significant amount of learning work occurs online, both synchronously and asynchronously, complemented by periodic face-to-face sessions with their teachers. We envision these face-to-face sessions as being flexible and occurring multiple times to allow for smaller groups of learners. In-person sessions will provide opportunities for students to put their learning into practice by building a computer, piloting a drone mission, practicing culinary techniques, laying down tracks in our audio studio, or engaging in small-group or individual work on a project. 

The adults on the Futures Lab team are master teachers who have been preparing since the spring for this possibility. It is our belief that we can continue to provide an exemplary environment for our learners in any of PSD's phases and within any learning model.

In the coming weeks, you can expect to hear directly from our teachers regarding how the fall semester will look, including upcoming opportunities for small-group, socially distanced "meet and greets" at the Lab as well as other ways to get and stay connected to our community.

Again, thank you for being a part of the Futures Lab. We are grateful to have you as a part of our Futures Lab community.

Best regards, 

Scott

Sharing your learning is an integral part of the work we do at Futures Lab and even unexpected remote learning can't slow our learners down. We're proud to showcase our first ever Virtual Exhibition and hope you'll head over and take a look!

Our registration page is live with information about Futures Lab offerings for 2020-2021. Interested in learning more about whether the Lab is a fit for you? In addition to visiting students at most PSD high schools after the break, we are excited to invite you to an info night at FCHS on January 23, at 6pm or 7pm. You can learn about our programs and pathways, our new campus, and how students at Futures Lab earn credit toward graduation through participating in our unique programs.

Info night postcard

We are excited to partner with Poudre Community Academy for this spring semester offering of MobileMakersEDU iOS. Interested in learning more? Check the flyer below and click here for more!

MM Flyer

 

The Futures Lab team is excited to welcome 8th graders from Webber Middle School on Tuesday, November 5. The Panthers spent the morning learning to code with the coders at the Futures Lab and had the opportunity to build their first app: Flashlight.

 

After spending time with the coders, our Webber visitors headed over for some in-flight training with the Futures Lab drone pilots. We are grateful to the administration and counselors at Webber Middle for making this visit happen!

On Tuesday, October 22, the Futures Lab welcomed leaders from around PSD to spend the morning learning alongside our pilots, coders, and entrepreneurs. Our learners proved to be outstanding hosts and hostesses and visitors had the opportunity to try their hand at drone piloting and coding. We appreciate the support of our forward-thinking leaders in PSD

Learners in Business Incubator are developing the Futures Lab brand. As part of that process, they had the opportunity to spend the morning with the team at Mantooth right here in Fort Collins to dig into the branding process with one of their graphic designers.