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Welcome to the Istation Blog

by Photo of Andi Diaz Andi Diaz on June 27, 2023

High School Students Partner with Istation for Curriculum Design

In the beginning of 2023, talented students from the Bryan Adams P-TECH program embarked on a semester-long journey to uncover the secrets of digital curriculum development with Istation. These high school students learned the ropes — from the initial spark of creativity to the final design — in the P-TECH workplace challenge.

Their path was filled with synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences, all aimed at unraveling the mysteries of the backward design method. Students also learned how to weave a captivating narrative arc to serve as the backbone of their instruction projects.

Istation’s workplace challenge prompted students to create an original lesson framework teaching a kindergarten math standard. Groups of P-TECH students put together fantastic presentations showcasing their fully developed lesson-plan outlines. These presentations highlighted each group’s unique character-driven and instruction-focused project they developed over the course of several weeks. These final presentations will become part of the students’ P-TECH portfolios.

“Each student truly went above and beyond, and their efforts were recognized and celebrated,” said Amy Mora, the learning design team lead at Istation.

Istation Most Creative Workplace ChallengeIstation’s workplace assignment was voted the Most Creative Workplace Challenge by the Bryan Adams P-TECH leaders. Istation Chief Product Officer Steve Jordan accepts the award on Istation's behalf.

Innovative Learning Opportunities to Boost Student Partnerships

To give these students a taste of a real-world collaborative environment, Mora and Jason Glassman, Istation’s senior creative writer, hosted collaborative work sessions at Istation headquarters throughout the school year, giving students a sneak peek into the daily life of a learning designer or creative writer.

During these inspiring and exciting sessions, students got firsthand experience working alongside professionals in the field they’re passionate about, education technology.

Bryan Adams High School Students visit IstationMora and Glassman host collaborative work sessions with Bryan Adams P-TECH students at Istation’s headquarters.

Choosing a Winning Design

After months of hard work, dedication, and innovative thinking, it was time to choose a winning team. A panel formed by Istation’s product development team evaluated each group’s presentation to identify the strongest lesson outline.

P-tech slides setting  P-tech slides intro to lesson

The winning team created the slides above using inspiration from the Downtown Aquarium in Houston, Texas.

The masterminds behind “Frish and Pelly’s Adventure” conducted their own research on  teaching methods and pedagogy and developed an engaging storyline, which they shared in their polished, professional-level project. Their plan was to teach a Texas kindergarten math standard by disguising the concept of addition with a thrilling plot. Through teamwork, they created an enticing storyline set in The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, Texas. 

The winners of the challenge had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with Andy Estrada, one of Istation’s art leads, on a unique character design.

Workplace Challenge Winners with Estrada

Estrada and students from Bryan Adams work on designing their characters for the lesson.

Pelly and Fresh charactersThese charming characters, Frish and Pelly, were inspired by the Australian pelican and two types of fish. They were developed at Istation’s headquarters with the help of Estrada.

“We are extremely proud of the P-TECH students and Istation’s product team as they joined forces to create an extraordinary lesson framework for other students,” Mora said. “They conquered challenges, unleashed their creativity, and discovered the immense power of collaboration.”

Celebrating Students and Their Families
To honor and celebrate the winning group’s hard work, Istation hosted a final award ceremony at their headquarters in Dallas on Tuesday, June 20 for school district leaders, the students’ families, and Istation employees.

Each student on the winning team received a framed print and a t-shirt featuring the characters they developed. Students also had the opportunity to showcase their amazing projects in front of their families and friends!


Workplace challenge winner celebration

Bryan Adams P-TECH students met with Istation CEO Richard Collins for personal mentoring during dinner.

Winner visit IstationThe winning students brought their original characters to life through collaboration with Istation’s art team.

“We [at Istation] want to see even more collaboration and commitment to our students in the future,” said Brooke Mabry, Istation’s director of learning and product design.

This blog is a part of Istation’s 25th anniversary celebration. Discover more about this milestone in the company’s history by visiting the anniversary page below.

Learn More