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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

PBL Camp: Ideas for Projects

PBL Camp: Ideas for Projects

Related Tags: Project-Based Learning
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I am a science teacher and am looking for great projects to go along with the three units I teach: Matter and Energy, Forces and Motion, Waves, Light, Sound. If you have any ideas I would greatly appreciate it.

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Kristin Hoins's picture
Kristin Hoins
Technology Teacher Grades 4-6

Each year Telluride hosts a film festival called the Mountain Film Festival http://mountainfilm.org that screens a powerful selection of documentaries. This years' theme was celebrating the indomitable spirit and I viewed three amazing documentaries: Bag It (plastics impact on us and our world), Gasland (frakings impact on our fresh water), and Wasteland (an artistic look at garbage and those who collect recyclables in Brazil). I would like to launch a project in which we use launch pads such as these documentaries and the oil spill media to give students choice in a topic. Then, collaborate with other students to form global teams to research and develop a blog or ning that merges information researched, advocacy ideas, action steps, philanthropy opportunities or where ever the students' passion takes them together. The culminating project could be a digital piece that is aired on the interweb, local television, at Mountain Film. Another idea could be that the culminating project could be submitted as part of Oracle's Thinkquest competition. This is a larger project in that you start in August/September and submit a finished project in March. Either way, this type of collaboration would be year long but a blog or ning could offer us a chance to bring in experts for video conferencing and pool together links and student learning in a central location. The audience is authentic an the topic relevant on a broader scale. I'm talking about teams or groups that are in grades 4-6. This could be an enrichment project where teams are formed based on interest to make multi-age teams. Anyone interested?

Ellen Feig's picture

Kristin - I am really interested in what your are working on as I am actually working towards something similar for an Earth Day centered PBL using all of those three docs (Gasland is especially relevant to us on the East Coast); I am working with a biology/sociology and psych professor (I teach English at a community college in NJ). Maybe we could actually do something together using videoconferencing where my older kids could work with your kids - they could move together through the plan. Thought?

Danny Goodwin's picture
Danny Goodwin
9th Grade Physical Science

I'm a 9th grade physical science teacher working with the 9th grade english teacher on a project where students are required to write proposals/grants to fund their construction of an mini-alternative energy source. There are numerous instruction manuals out there that can show you how to build everything from a solar panel to a wind turbine for around $100. In the end we hope to tie the different sources together to power our new PBL classroom. We're going to incorporate technical writing in with electricity/conservation of energy topics. We're using this as our spring board project for our new PBL class. We're currently looking for some type of project that would cover earth science. Any ideas?

Rebecca Nagle's picture
Rebecca Nagle
I teach third grade students in Newport News, Virginia.

I would love to hear more specifics about this project. This sounds like a very fun project that the students would love!

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Roz Robertson's picture
Roz Robertson
English as a Second Language and Spanish Teacher

Are there projects for languages? Specifically English and Spanish? This is the way I would like to teach! So many concepts could be incorporated!
Thanks!

Marsha Mussehl's picture

I am beginning my first year of doing PBL projects with my gifted and talented groups. I need some ideas for 4th and 5th graders in math. I am open to anything so please feel free to send me your wildest of ideas! Thanks!

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