In my last week, I got to see them present large portions of their work this year. Students had been coding games and researching countries and so forth, it was amazing to see what they'd built and learned. They also had a paper airplane day where they analyzed throwing their planes different ways for different results. At first, they were going for distance, so they threw with the wind outside. Then they went for maximum time in the air... That was interesting because they still faced the same direction and just tried to throw straight up (with a few hypothetical modifications here and there). At the end, the kids wanted me to try, so I grabbed a plane and faced the wind. They all just looked at me and one boy actually said, "Hey you're going the wrong way", which was funny. I reminded them that creative problem solvers try everything, and that new ideas are never bad. Of course, facing the wind actually did help me because the wind created lift. My plane's time ended up being double the best kid's time with the wind, to that student's dismay. I tried to quickly explain Bernoulli's Principle to them, and I feel like that was a good kind of shock-and-awe lesson on thinking creatively and trying to know what you're getting in to next time; doing research and so forth before guessing wildly.
Overall, I had a great time working with the Focus students and hope to do it again next year. I learned a lot from them, and I think they learned a lot from me. Focus observations were a great trip down memory lane for me, but also a good way to see things from the other side, as the teacher.