Clive Learning Academy facilitators and Director Dréa Bocook take a selfie at Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering for a scavenger hunt.

Clive Learning Academy Builds Partnerships Through Selfie Scavenger Hunt

Clive Learning Academy staff members connected with businesses and organizations in their school community through a photo scavenger hunt in October. Working in teams, the facilitators met with representatives from several businesses and organizations to teach their community about New Tech and Clive Learning Academy.

To document their budding partnerships, facilitators used a scavenger hunt app and snapped photos of every “mission.” The missions included meetings at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, the Windsor Heights Hy-Vee, departments and offices from the cities of Clive and Windsor Heights, and other local businesses. The business representatives all gamely posed for selfies during their meetings.

“When you can make those community connections, it’s really powerful,” Shive-Hattery civil engineer Kelsey Reisberg said. “It helps build strong communities and businesses.”

Clive facilitators educate Windsor Heights city officials about New Tech in their school.

Clive facilitators educate city officials about New Tech.

Part of the connection came from teaching each organization about Clive Learning Academy’s New Tech learning model. The facilitators and representatives also brainstormed partnership opportunities for Clive students and the school. Ideas included website projects with WebSpec Design, creating disaster preparedness kits with Iowa Homeland Security, and a tour of Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering focused on its collaborative spaces.

“The community partnerships are so important, being a New Tech school,” Clive facilitator Mara Phillips said. “A lot of our projects include collaborating with community members to make the learning truly authentic.”

The Clive facilitators also asked what skills the businesses and organizations were looking for in future employees. Some representatives mentioned specific skills like financial awareness and interviewing ability. Many emphasized so-called “soft skills” like communication and teamwork, which are taught and evaluated in the New Tech model. Like many New Tech students, the representatives seemed excited about the hands-on aspect of the learning model.

Clive facilitators discuss the scavenger hunt.

Clive facilitators discuss the scavenger hunt.

“It’s interesting and exciting to have opportunities to share engineering with more students,” said Adam Puls, a mechanical engineer at Shive-Hattery. “In high school, I didn’t know about that many opportunities for engineers. It’s cool that younger kids are getting exposed to the idea of engineering.”

In an afternoon reflection session, the scavenger hunt teams shared project ideas and discussed ways to continue building students’ soft skills in their classrooms.

“By having teachers make connections with new businesses and community members, we have established relationships and will hopefully be able to partner with them in the future for student projects,” Phillips said.

Learn more about New Tech in the WDMCS

Special thanks to all the new community partners that participated in Clive Learning Academy’s photo scavenger hunt! See more photos of the Clive facilitators below.

  • 5 Borough Bagels
  • Bankers Trust
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Capital Orthopedic & Sports Medicine
  • City of Clive
  • City of Windsor Heights
  • Clive Community Services
  • Cumulus Media
  • FIT
  • Hy-Vee
  • Iowa Homeland Security
  • New Leaf Wellness
  • Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering
  • Walnut Creek YMCA
  • WebSpec Design
  • Windsor Heights Police Department
  • Windsor Heights Fire Department