Tag Archive | "Project Based Learning"

Teachers get lesson from workforce partners

Mark McKinney, left, a mechanical engineer and a pre-calculus teacher at Jeffersontown High School (Jefferson County) discussed the operating procedure of a CNC machine with the machine's operator at Altas Machine and Supply Inc. Photo by Tim Thornberry, July 16, 2014

Mark McKinney, left, a mechanical engineer and a pre-calculus teacher at Jeffersontown High School (Jefferson County), discussed the operating procedure of a CNC machine with the machine’s operator at Altas Machine and Supply Inc.
Photo by Tim Thornberry, July 16, 2014

By Tim Thornberry
tim.thornberry@education.ky.gov

The old saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is true in a lot of situations, but teachers in the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) took it to a new level this past summer as several participated in a professional learning  program that took them into more than 20 businesses and industries throughout Louisville.

Deborah Anderson, the engineering career theme specialist for JCPS, headed this externship effort to bring the academic and technical training worlds together.

“This training will hopefully give our academic instructors new insight into the Career and Technical side of education,” she said.

Read the full story

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UK training focused on project-based, science learning for middle school teachers

The University of Kentucky STEM Education Department and College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will host a summer institute for middle school teachers June 23-25 and July 10 and 11.

Teachers who take part on the institute will learn how to:

  • conduct project-based investigations on the Kentucky River Watershed that implement Kentucky Core Academic Standards and Science and Engineering Practices.
  • use GPS and Google Maps as an investigation tool and way to post and access data.
  • conduct environmental surveys that lead to making comparisons of land use and water quality across the watershed
  • guide middle school students in planning and implementing watershed investigations to draw conclusions about their own area.
  • use digital technologies to search, use and communicate scientific ideas.  Read the full story

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Student-led, project-based learning competition underway

The Clean Tech Competition is a global research and design challenge for student ages 15-18 that promotes educational trends towards student-led, project-based learning.

This year’s theme, “A Solution to Pollution”, challenges teams of student innovators to design a clean technology solution to this real-world problem.  Students will work in teams to research a specific issue and design a solution.  Finalist teams will then be given a stipend and paired with an expert mentor to turn their idea in to a prototype.

For information on how to register, go to the Clean Tech Competition website at www.cleantechcompetition.org.

 

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Full STEAM ahead

Director Tina Stevenson greets STEAM Academy (Fayette County) students as they arrive at school in the morning. Photo by Amy Wallot, Aug. 21, 2013


Director Tina Stevenson greets STEAM Academy (Fayette County) students as they arrive at school in the morning. Photo by Amy Wallot, Aug. 21, 2013

By Susan Riddell
susan.riddell@education.ky.gov

When a new school opens, decisions almost always have to be made regarding its identity. What will the mascot be? What about school colors?

For Fayette County school district’s STEAM Academy (STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.), those questions became the central part of the first student lesson.

The STEAM academy opened its doors Aug. 14 to 150 freshmen, and Stevenson said teachers wasted no time in creating opportunities, starting with the school’s identity.

Homerooms spent the first three days working as a team. They couldn’t just come up with schools colors, a logo and a mascot. They had to research it.

“We studied the colors in science, logos in history, graphics in design,” Stevenson said. “Once each room turns in the assignment, students will vote on everything.”

One classroom wanted the mascot to be a gladiator with colors royal blue and silver. Another chose a sabre-toothed tiger because it’s associated with confidence and determination; colors yellow and blue because they represented the sun and the sky as well as characteristics like energy and stability.

“That’s what we do here,” said STEAM Director Tina Stevenson. “It’s all about unique opportunities to embed all of our classes into one another and create interesting learning experiences.”

These community and project-based learning experiences, she said, are designed to lead all STEAM students to college- and career-readiness. Read the full story

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Eagle Studio, other initiatives have Madison Southern soaring

By Susan Riddell
susan.riddell@education.ky.gov

Sophomores Patrick Berry and Tori Wall present the website they created about cold fusion to their teacher Jessica Bevins in the computer lab in the Eagle Studio at Madison Southern High School (Madison County). Photo by Amy Wallot, July 17, 2012

Sophomores Patrick Berry and Tori Wall present the website they created about cold fusion to their teacher Jessica Bevins in the computer lab in the Eagle Studio at Madison Southern High School (Madison County). Photo by Amy Wallot, July 17, 2012

Madison Southern High School (Madison County) isn’t doing just one thing to raise rigor and increase test scores. The school has a handful of initiatives going on that have helped it make great strides recently.

“All these initiatives put a strong focus on academic success on a personal level,” said Erin Stewart, community education director for the Madison County school district.

Heading into its second year, the Eagle Studio initiative has a direct focus on 21st-century learning and college and/or career readiness, and is probably the best example of school collaboration, according to former student life director Josh Williams, who now is an assistant principal at Camp Taylor Elementary School (Jefferson County).

Nearly 150 sophomores attend the Eagle Studio each year. The studio consists of English, geometry, world civilization and earth/space chemical science classes, each taught by one of four teachers who are responsible for running the studio and creating lessons. Read the full story

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Free Project Based Learning workshop offered

The Buck Institute Project Based Learning for Administrators and Educational Leaders workshop is scheduled for July 10 in Corbin.

The free full-day workshop will engage principals, assistant principals and instructional leaders in exploring best practices in leading a school or district in the effective, sustainable implementation of Project Based Learning (PBL).

Through a combination of direct instruction, video analysis and hands-on individual and group work, participants have the opportunity to design and receive peer feedback on a PBL lead plan for their organization using the Buck Institute for Education model and tools.

Participants will engage in such protocols as Leadership Compass, SWOT Analysis, Gap Analysis and the Affinity Protocol.

Online registration is available here.

For more information, contact Sarah Evans at (859) 622-8488.

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