PROJECT BASED LEARNING (PBL)

According to the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

Essential Project Design Elements include:

Create your Own PBL!

Here is the template TCSJ candidates use to write their PBL units!

Let Us Help

As a teacher, designing PBL units can be difficult. Below are PBLs designed by either TCSJ staff or M.Ed. candidates that you can implement with your students.

Be sure to check back regularly to view new PBLs!

Understanding Rational Numbers Through Project Design

Understanding Rational Numbers Through Project Design

Paul Villalovos and Brian Barnett, M.Ed. Students

2017, Math, Grade 7

Driving Question: Can we create a back pack rack unique and usable for the junior high students?

Do you struggle to store backpacks in your classroom? Using rational numbers, students will investigate the driving question: can we create a backpack rack that is unique and usable for junior high students? Students will then present their designs to site leaders, and possibly even the Board of Education.

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Raising Chickens, Changing Lives

Raising Chickens, Changing Lives

Kathleen Dennis, M.Ed. Graduate

2017, Integrated Subjects, Grades 9-12

Driving Questions

  1. Is it possible to design a self sustaining chicken farm in an urban, high crime and poverty ridden neighborhood?
  2. How can chickens help us to understand cell division, the role of DNA and inheritance?

Have you ever wondered how we can teach students about DNA, cell division, and inheritance with hands-on experiences? Through the study of urban chicken farming, students will learn about and investigate the structure and function of DNA, mitosis and the growth and development of multicellular organisms, and the inheritance of traits. This STEM PBL is an integrated study of life science, engineering, mathematics, and technology with a focus on presenting and student communication skills.

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Bungee Drop

Bungee Drop

Stacey Chuck and Crystal Wong, TCSJ M.Ed. Candidates

2016, Math, Grades 9-12

Driving Question: How can I be sure a bungee cord is safe?

Conducting a deep data dive using statistical analysis, students will investigate the scientific and engineering aspects of the design of a bungee cord in order to determine if the cord is safe.

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Building an App for the Community

Building an App for the Community

Kellene Ditler, Dae Dyer, Maria Ramirez, TCSJ M.Ed. Candidates

2017, Technology, Grade 9-12

Driving Question: If you could create an App for elementary students, what would it be?

How can high school students use technology to help elementary students 'see' the world around them? In this unit, students will utilize technology to create an augmented reality application to share with elementary school students that utilizes students’ ideas of “important” places/things in their communities and surrounding areas, and they will present their project process and product to teachers and classmates

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Programming with an Emphasis in Drone Technology

Programming with an Emphasis in Drone Technology

Rebecca Currin and Cathy Hofmann-Mook, M.Ed. Candidates

2016, Technology, Grades 6-7

Driving Question: How can we program a drone to move through an obstacle course?

Have you struggled to make the impact of code visible to students? WIth this PBL unit, students will understand how coding is used in different technologies. Students will understand the benefits and concerns associated with drone technology. Students will also understand how block coding works to control different devices including drones.

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Ecosystems

Ecosystems

J.M. Mitchell Mesimer, Katie Chock, & Nathan Haley, TCSJ M.Ed. Graduates

2016, Life Science, Grade 7

Driving Question: What has prevented dinosaurs from taking over the earth?

Have you struggled to engage students in examining how ecosystems survive and how they might fail? In this unit, students will analyze specific ecosystems, ­ identify biotic/abiotic factors of the ecosystem, ­ model matter and energy in an ecosystem, ­ differentiate between exponential and linear graphs, and ­ identify limiting factors of ecosystems by conducting a deep investigation into the ecosystem that supported dinosaur life.

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