Title: Young Innovators Lab (YIL)
Duration: 1 year per project; Implemented annually since 2016
Partners: Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, the cultural and social responsibility arm of the Arab Bank.
Beneficiaries: 500+ students (Ages 10 to 13), and 70+ mentors (university students and fresh graduates)
Locations: Amman, Zarqa, Al-Karak, and Irbid.
With our first partner in Jordan, the Shoman Foundation, we’ve been running the Young Innovators Lab (YIL) program annually since 2016. Over the course of 7 implementation years, hundreds of graduates have scored an increase in critical thinking skills; many have patents pending. The program, which was hosted at the headquarters of the Shoman Foundation in the first year, has grown to reach kids in several cities in Jordan, and throughout the process, has established a network of people, as well as workspaces, that provide innovative learning environments for kids in underserved communities in cities such as Irbid, Zarqa, Salt, and Al-Karak.
Why Critical Thinking?
The world is continuously and rapidly changing. This presents a challenge to the educational systems in providing students with knowledge and information that suit all times and places; as what they learn today might become outdated tomorrow. Critical thinking skills enable individuals to acquire, process, and utilize knowledge, regardless of how fast it changes.
The methodologies used combine active experimentation, Socratic questioning, discussions, and self-learning activities. The aim is to provide kids with a learning environment that encourages innovative and critical thinking, as well as strengthening of character.
Beyond the training given to the kids, the educators involved in this program are trained and gain the skills needed to enhance critical thinking skills among any target group they educate, allowing for the capacity building of the local community through the program’s implementation.