What is it? Here’s an article by BIE, updated from its original appearance in the September 2010 issue of Educational Leadership magazine from ASCD. Good for general audiences as well as educators, it explains the essential elements that make rigorous PBL different from “doing projects.”
Why do we like it? This article was written because some teachers say they "do projects" already (so why learn more about PBL) and some educators and members of the general public may have negative stereotypes of PBL as merely a "fun" or "hands-on" activity.
How can you use it? Share this article with anyone, from teachers to parents to administrators, to explain PBL and provide a common framework for projects. The 8 Essential Elements are the basis of BIE's Project Design Rubric and PBL 101 Workshop.
Tryengineering.org has incredibly creative online lesson and project plans and interactive games for students. It is also an excellent resource for students, their parents, their teachers and their school counselors. This is a portal about engineering and engineering careers, as well as curriculum for the classroom. We hope it will help young people understand better what engineering means, what careers in this field look like, how to get there so that an engineering career can be made part of their future.
Forensic entomologists study how bugs colonize dead bodies to help establish a time of death. (Warning: This short 3 minute video is fairly gross, as you might imagine given the content.)
With Classroom Readings, teachers can search JSTOR's trusted academic resources and quickly find reading assignments to share with students that are on topic and at their level.
For something we use every day, energy is a pretty mysterious concept. This Lab investigates what energy is, how it can be converted into useful forms, and why some sources are running low. In our Research Challenge, you'll use scientific data to design renewable energy systems for cities across the U.S.—and compete with others to see whose designs can produce the most power.
Students and other citizen scientists can create virtual wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass systems to provide reliable power to real cities, from Tennessee to California. Participants will use maps, graphs, and weather data to assess the energy potential of each geographic location and design their system to meet production targets based on resident demand. They will then test their model against actual historical and real-time weather and solar data and work to update and optimize their systems based on this feedback.
Nature’s best kept secret is a wonder molecule called RNA. It is central to the origin of life, evolution, and the cellular machinery that keeps us alive. In this Lab you’ll play the role of a molecular engineer by solving RNA folding puzzles. Then take your skills to Eterna, where you can design RNAs that could be at the heart of future life-saving therapies.
In 1918, the conversation on the merits of Project-Based Teaching and Learning started to simmer as William Kirkpatrick (publisher of The Project Method) and John Dewey (publisher of Experience and Education) took slightly different views on the role of Project Based Teaching and Learning in public education. One claimed it was the best way to ensure full student engagement in the learning process, the other identified its strongest merit was in adding purpose to educational activities based in real-world experiences.
Time and research has shown they were both right, yet here we are today, over 95 years later, still looking for opportunities and hosting special institutes to discuss and consider how we can work to implement this model and move away from what Kirkpatrick referred to as the "daily instructional drudgery, which was counterproductive to preparing democratic citizens". Thanks to our friends at the Buck Institute for this article and perspective.
Student projects at High Tech High incorporate the HTH design principles of personalization, adult world connection, and common intellectual mission. As such, HTH projects cut across subject area boundaries and open the door to integrated curriculum planning. The aim is to help students to experience their studies as more coherent and more connected with the adult world. This planning guide offers teachers a method for working together to plan integrated units. It can be adapted by individual teachers, especially where the teacher is responsible for more than one subject area.
A guide to help teachers review their lessons before submitting to
Need a little assistance getting around the new CTE Online? Download this 2-page PDF and get a mini-orientation on all of the cool new things you can do in the site!
This guide is designed to help you create an effective, engaging, and high-quality lesson plan using the CTE Online Lesson Planner tool. Just go to the Lesson Plans tab and select Create Lesson. Select Start Tour for a step-by-step dynamic guide.
A site that has videos of time-lapses made from giant camera obscuras in famous places.
iRubric is a pretty great tool. Like the others we’ve mentioned, it offers rubric building tools, and a searchable database of pre-existing rubrics from other teachers. It also offers an easy way to grade via the rubric: “just pull up a rubric from the gradebook, click, click, and you’re done. Rubric scores are automatically adjusted to the coursework grading scale and posted on the gradebook.” You even have the option to send a copy of the graded rubric to the students securely. Teachers and students can use the site for free, but if a whole school or district wants to set up a larger scale account, they offer paid options, too.