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High schoolers visit KIE’s EthicsLab for design workshop

On May 28, 2014, a group of forty students and teachers from the Kent Place School (Summit, NJ) visited the Kennedy Institute of Ethics for a half-day intensive design session with designers at the KIE’s EthicsLab.

EthicsLab is an experimental innovation lab at Georgetown University tackling real-world practical issues.

The morning session was the most recent collaboration between the KIE and the the Kent Place School, part of an ongoing partnership involving the KIE’s Introduction to Bioethics MOOC.

Students had taken the six-week introduction to bioethics, and came down for a collaborative session to surface student reflections on the course, and to spur new and creative modes of thinking and learning for the students themselves. In just two hours teams conceived, designed, and produced seven short videos on a range of bioethics topics aimed at specific audiences.

Dr. Karen Rezach, director of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place, says, “Our students were simply exuberant on the bus ride home as they were talking about the MOOC and their experience in the Ethics Lab. They learned so much about bioethics, about the difficulties of creating a video with a message, and—most importantly—about themselves!  I am certain that it was a highlight of their year!”

The KIE team was similarly exhilarated. Dr. Maggie Little, director of the KIE, shares: “I was floored by the intellect, sophistication, and energy of the group. Our whole team had a blast. We learned as much from them as they might have learned from us.”

Travis Rieder, course fellow for the MOOC and key facilitator of the MOOC exchange, concurs. “I had high expectations for the young women of the Kent Place School,” he says, “and yet they still managed to blow these expectations out of the water.  Not only did I enjoy my time at the school, thinking about difficult bioethical issues with such talented young minds—but our discussions provided the KIE with enormously helpful feedback on the MOOC as well.  Our next iteration of the course will be so much better as a result of the dedication and thoughtfulness of the KPS women, faculty and parents.”

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