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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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41 Replies 2103 Views

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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Tania Ash's picture

My three 5th grade science topics are:
Renewable/Non renewable resources (Oil spill fits in perfectly - anyone want to collaborate?)
Human Body - looking for an interesting project - any ideas?
Simple Machines (seems like there are some good ideas on this thread already!
Looking forward to continuing PBL camp with you!

Debbie Beck's picture

Living on the Gulf Coast makes this PBL relevant to all of us participating. I want to tie in this project with our Science curriculum.
Especially the big idea of INTERDEPENDENCE and that both human activities and natural events can have major impacts on the environment.
What will be the lasting effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Where can we find resources and up to data of research going on?

How can we demonstrate and model what is happening?

Cindy Wihebrink's picture
Cindy Wihebrink
5th Grade Teacher

I agree with Meg about letting the kids have ownership in a project that is local. I teach at Cal Farley's Boys Ranch and they have a wonderful history of the area before it became Boys Ranch. They have a Boot Hill cemetery as well as a museum. I would like to see the kids take an active role in becoming student archivists and learning more about the history of Old Tascosa. It can easily turn into a multidisciplinary project in that we could have the science department take on the task of how to keep the ponds clean and viable for all the fish that are stocked there. I can see the kids documenting their efforts to preserve this history and how to keep the community involved in the museum. I would like to see the kids become guides for the museum after learning about all the artifacts in the museum. I have a lot of ideas and just need to get them organized.

"I am going to use something closer to home and student chosen for PBL. Ive been following the Design for Change Contest and I am going to use this program as my PBL. Check it out! www.designforchangecontest.com I like the oil spill idea, but I think if the kids have ownership in something local you get more passion."

Ellen Feig's picture

Thanks Betty - I actually started a discussion today with my summer session students (college freshmen) on suburbia in the short stories of Hemingway; specifically "Soldier's Home." The notion of suburbia being a place that can destroy one's creativity/soul was something the students really focused on. I am really interested in using this as a jumping board for a review of literature/film/media and then incorporate technology to create eportfolios.

Ellen Feig's picture

Paul - I would love to hear more about your work (I live in Scarsdale, near WP) as this is my interest - how to incorporate technology into literature and composition classes.

Barbara Johnson's picture
Barbara Johnson
4th grade teacher

In response to Bobbi's idea about the Greek Gods and their attributes--

Great idea!I teach 4th grade and I can even see a simpler version of this for my students. Can see the motivation.

Mary Ball's picture
Mary Ball
Environmental Educator from East Tennessee

I recently came across the Pollinators LIVE website at http://pollinatorlive.pwnet.org/, geared for grades 4-8. I'd like to design a PBL project on this topic that would meet the teaching standards here in Tennessee and include a Service Learning component. (I don't think the word pollination even appears in our Science Standards, so I will need to link it to other topics such as Plant Life Cycles.)

Jason Larson's picture
Jason Larson
Science educator in Iowa

[quote]My three 5th grade science topics are:
Renewable/Non renewable resources (Oil spill fits in perfectly - anyone want to collaborate?)
Human Body - looking for an interesting project - any ideas?
Simple Machines (seems like there are some good ideas on this thread already!
Looking forward to continuing PBL camp with you![/quote]

I'm more of a chemistry and physics guy, but it seems to me that you could incorporate your human body and simple machines together nicely. Have the students design and build different joints based on levers? Maybe? I don't have lesson plans or anything to help you with, but it's just a thought. Good luck!

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia
Staff

I'm going to add PBL Camp to the title of this group. I know it wasn't initially started by or for PBL campers specifically, but we're also seeing a number of people pull out of PBL camp due to things that came up last-minute. So I'm thinking that anyone reading this thread - who has a great idea for a project, or who is looking for one - can and should participate in the camp if you want to. If you'd like to be added to the e-mail list, let me know. (community AT edutopia DOT org. thanks!)

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