“The Explorer At Large videos paired with the curriculum modules have generated high levels of student excitement and engagement in solving real world problems leading to authentic learning! Josh’s materials are a perfect fit for STEM schools! On a side note, my teachers have been very engaged and excited about the materials as well and have commented multiple times about their kids loving the modules and learning a lot! In fact, several have commented they would do it again and others have asked to use the materials!”
- M. Drury, Principal
Explorer At Large Activities guide students to practice exploration.
Having watched (and hopefully enjoyed) one or two XAL Videos in which they observed Josh and a STEAM expert exploring a topic together, students are given the chance to practice exploration under the supervision of their teacher.
To do this, all XAL teachers complete a series of professional development workshops to learn Explorer At Large's pedagogy, how the XAL ecosystem works, and how the materials and activities can be adapted to each grade band and classroom.
XAL Activities are linked by theme or action to XAL Videos, giving students a chance to mirror what they have seen Josh and the experts do on screen. For example, after watching Josh learn about pollinators from an orchid expert, kindergarten students create their own pollinators using basic arts and crafts materials (see the picture of a toilet paper roll with googly eyes and pipe cleaner legs to the left? That's a pollinator!). Under the direction of Explorer At Large materials and the guidance of their teacher, students get to practice what it's like to think like and be an explorer within the classroom.
All XAL Activities and accompanying worksheets are designed by Explorer At Large's Instructional Unit design partner, the PAST Foundation, to be grade-band appropriate and standards-aligned, making it very easy for teachers to plug-and-play with the materials. We encourage teachers to customize and adapt the materials to the specific needs of their students, thus maximizing both the enjoyment and efficacy of the program.
Once students have practiced exploration, it's time for the next step... XAL Field Trips.