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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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Ryan Kelley's picture
Ryan Kelley
Special Effects Technician with a passion for education

I am a special effects technician who works in the film industry. We are constantly using all forms of science and math for us to achieve all types of effects. We do everything from make it snow, to burn buildings down, to building large scale mechanisms. I am more then happy to help come up with some examples of how to integrate any type of real world scenario into a teaching setting. Kids are drawn to TV and media so we might as well take advantage of it and use it to catch the kids attention. I can guarantee the first time you introduce an animatronic dinosaur into the classroom it will spark some interest.

Courtney Gray's picture

I teach a college-access after-school program for middle and high school students in low-income areas.

Does anyone have ideas for some projects for my teens? Topics that I have thought of are: financial literacy, healthy relationships, time-management & organization, college essay writing, choosing the correct college for you, etc.

The more ideas the better! Thanks in advance for your help :)

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

Hi Courtney,
After-school and summer programs offer great opportunities for doing projects. I'd suggest starting with your students' interests. What do they care about? What are their biggest interests outside of school? Who are their heroes? How would they like to change or improve their community? Discussions about those questions should lead to engaging project ideas.
Here are a couple resources to help:
You4Youth is an after-school resource with an emphasis on PBL: http://y4y.ed.gov (Full disclosure: I contributed to the PBL and STEM courses)
Philadelphia has a thriving out-of-school-time initiative that emphasizes PBL. Take a look at their project ideas described in this recent publication: http://www.niost.org/pdf/afterschoolmatters/asm_2012_15_spring/asm_2012_...
Good luck!
~Suzie

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

Hi Ryan,
What a great invitation! Thanks for offering your expertise. Let's re-post your comment in a new thread (this one is from PBL Camp, which happened a couple years ago).

Allen Macfarlane's picture
Allen Macfarlane
6-8 science teacher, Independent school, Topeka, Kansas

I'm new to this group. Can you tell me a little bit about PBL Camp?

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

Hi Allen,
PBL Camp happened two summers ago--it was an online professional learning experience for teachers interested in project-based learning. This discussion thread is a hold-over from that summer 2010 adventure.
Feel free to start new discussions in the PBL community.

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

Good to hear, and good luck with your program!

Danielle Bendt's picture
Danielle Bendt
High School Science Teacher

I am a high school biology teacher looking for some AWESOME project ideas for a project-based learning environment. My school will be switching to block scheduling next year, so we are looking to change our curriculum and the WAY we teach. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, and would love any insights, ideas, or places to look. Thanks :)

Mister Matthew's picture
Mister Matthew
School Age Child Care site director in Hillsboro, MO

This works in Middle School too. 7th and 8th graders took it a little further with a cross curricular class. Language Arts classes interviewed the Gods and Goddesses in costume to solve classical Greek "Mythteries" based on the research kids had done. The costumes, and research was done in World History classes. 7th graders were captive audiences for skits the 8th graders developed and articles the 8th graders wrote on the topic. Great fun and extensive cooperative learning.

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