Today was the big day. As my freshman chemistry students made their way to my door, I handed them a copy of their schedule and welcomed them into our classroom to find their assigned seats. Wait – that’s not right because it’s way too traditional, and I am part of a nontraditional project based learning (PBL) program this year. So what really happened?
After students arrived and received their schedules, we gathered all of our CDAT* freshman into a large classroom in order to introduce our very first project: Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. On Friday, each group will pitch their idea for the grant (a way to improve our school using $5,000). Tomorrow, each student is bringing 10 ideas and will begin working with their groups to narrow down their final idea and pitch. (Students will have work time in their science, language arts, and tech classes.) Thursday students will put on their finishing touches, and Friday groups will have 30 seconds to pitch to their classmates and teachers. The best part? We’ll be submitting the best group idea for the grant. I am so excited to see where this project takes us, and it’s such a great introduction into what we are all about.
*CDAT is the name of our STEM academy – Center for Design And Technology. Our guiding principles are authenticity, creativity, and efficiency. You’ll be hearing a lot more about the program throughout the year.