Fuse Grant Recipient Launches Program in Peoria

Fuse Grant Recipient Launches Program in Peoria

Greg GilsonFUSE grant winner Greg Gilson

Failure is an opportunity in Greg Gilson’s first-hour class, the FUSE studio at Manual Academy, said Pam Adams in the Peoria Journal Star. “There are no assignments, no classroom lectures, no traditional grades.”

Instead, students select what they want to do from several dozen computer-based challenges in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).

“They work at their own pace, in groups or alone. Some complete a challenge, then, as in video games, move on to similar but more difficult experiments,” Adams wrote. “Others jump from one project to the next, not necessarily moving beyond the basic level of any.”

Developed by learning scientists at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy (SESP), the FUSE program offers STEAM challenges in a student-centered, choice-driven studio.

Gilson, a teacher in Peoria at Manual Academy, is married to SESP alumna Oriana (DeBord) GIlson. He first heard about FUSE after reading an article in Inquiry, SESP’s alumni magazine.

At the time, Gilson was researching school redesign and felt that a studio and approach like FUSE was perfect for moving education in a different, more 21st-century direction. After falling short of raising money through a fundraiser at his previous school, he applied for -- and won – a $26,000 grant to help establish a FUSE studio at Manual.

The grant offered by the STEM Outreach Program at SESP, one of 23 awarded nationwide, helps establish FUSE labs at schools with high populations of low-income and minority students.

“With FUSE's student-centered, interest-driven structure, we now have students approaching the challenges with confidence and taking ownership of their learning,” Gilson said. “Facilitating the learning versus direct instruction in the studio allows me to join the students on their learning journey – and the growth of the students over the past year has been fun to watch.”




By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 2/12/18