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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

New Year, New Projects

New Year, New Projects

Related Tags: Project-Based Learning
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What new projects are you planning for 2012? Anyone piggybacking on the Presidential election for a social studies, English, media, or math/statistics project? By comparing notes with others in this community, you may find some new collaborators or resources you hadn't considered. And if you're new to PBL, this is a good place to connect with veterans who can offer feedback to improve your project plans. So, please tell us about your ideas to ignite learning in the new year.

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Pam Rickard's picture
Pam Rickard
7th grade biology teacher in Lompoc, CA

We will start genetics in my 7th grade biology class. Brainstorming now what the project will be... Any suggestions? :)

Pam Rickard's picture
Pam Rickard
7th grade biology teacher in Lompoc, CA

Definitely want to include team screencasts...

Suzie Boss's picture
Suzie Boss
Journalist and PBL advocate
Blogger

Hi Pam,
I saw a good project last year students where students investigated genetically modified foods and wound up challenging vending machine snack food options.
Good cross-disciplinary opportunities with this topic, too. Love to hear how you decide to approach it.

Pam Rickard's picture
Pam Rickard
7th grade biology teacher in Lompoc, CA

GMO's are definitely an interesting topic. I will be assigning student teams different research topics and one team will be covering GMO. What I'm looking for is a project in which student teams design an experiment that they can perform in our classroom lab. Call it a "partial" inquiry lab in which I give some parameters. I will have them showcase their results on a student created webpage. This time I want to include a team screencast.

John Bennett's picture
John Bennett
Emeritus Faculty in the School of Engineering / University of Connecticut

May I suggest a some what general notion for a ny project? It always seems to me that any idea - from the development and application / use of sustainable energy to the messages of newly published literature to the impact of unexpected sources on the unfolding of a current event to the "what if" implications of some change in detail of unfolding history - provides all the information gathering / understanding, the brainstorming, the critical thinking, the sense of curiosity, the innovation, the teaming experiences, the engagement in interdisciplinary considerations, and the experience of documenting / communicating outcomes that are sought in any PBL projects.

I am also very much in favor in student team selection / development of the actual project objective(s). Thus, rather than providing the project objective, I'd send the student teams to the local daily newspapers, the various "age-appropriate" best seller lists to the history books to do that effort. The team proposed project enables the teacher to insure the project is rich enough to enable satasfactory outcomes, the project is too ambitious such that it either demands too much effort or almost insures poor outcomes, or the project is simply a redo of already available efforts.

And this idea I'd suggest is appropriate for any grade level through careful attention to the expected outcomes of the effort.

Hope these ideas although general in nature are of value in planning upcoming projects. Hope to interact with you again Tuesday evening on #pblchat.

Suzie Boss's picture
Suzie Boss
Journalist and PBL advocate
Blogger

Hi John,
Thanks for sharing your ideas for bringing more student voice to the project selection process. That's such an important element for making sure students are engaged. As you wisely point out, student-driven projects also need to meet academic requirements that the teacher has established.
Look forward to joining you and others at tonight's #PBLchat.
For newcomers to #PBLchat: It starts at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST, on Twitter. Just follow the #pblchat hashtag and jump into the discussion. Tonight's topic: new year's goals/resolutions for the PBL classroom. See you there! (Find me on Twitter @suzieboss)

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