Project Based Learning

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Air Quality InQuiry (AQ-IQ)
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Students engage in hands-on, true-to-life research experiences on air quality topics chosen for personal interest through a unit composed of one lesson and five associated activities. Using a project-based learning approach suitable for secondary science classrooms and low-cost air quality monitors, students gain the background and skills needed to conduct their own air quality research projects. The curriculum provides: 1) an introduction to air quality science, 2) data collection practice, 3) data analysis practice, 4) help planning and conducting a research project and 5) guidance in interpreting data and presenting research in professional poster format. The comprehensive curriculum requires no pre-requisite knowledge of air quality science or engineering. This curriculum takes advantage of low-cost, next-generation, open-source air quality monitors called Pods. These monitors were developed in a mechanical engineering lab at the University of Colorado Boulder and are used for academic research as well as education and outreach. The monitors are made available for use with this curriculum through AQ-IQ Kits that may be rented from the university by teachers. Alternatively, nearly the entire unit, including the student-directed projects, could also be completed without an air quality monitor. For example, students can design research projects that utilize existing air quality data instead of collecting their own, which is highly feasible since much data is publically available. In addition, other low-cost monitors could be used instead of the Pods. Also, the curriculum is intentionally flexible, so that the lesson and its activities can be used individually. See the Other section for details about the Pods and ideas for alternative equipment, usage without air quality monitors, and adjustments to individually teach the lesson and activities.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Evan Coffey
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Assessment Strategies: Rubrics
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This article provides an overview of using rubrics as a method of assessment and discusses technological tools that facilitate the creation of rubrics.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology
Provider Set:
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: An Online Magazine for K-5 Teachers
Author:
Jessica Fries-Gaither
Kimberly Lightle
Date Added:
10/17/2014
Bedroom Engineering Design Activity
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STEM focused lesson that incorporates hands on and computer based 3D design. Grade specific math concepts such as budgets, percentages, and square footage is applied.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Computer Science
Engineering
Elementary Education
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Hofstra University
Author:
Dr. David Crismond
Dr. M. David Burghardt
Linda Walker
Lois Miceli
Mike Hacker
Date Added:
04/26/2019
City X Project
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The City X Project is an international educational workshop for 8-12 year-old students that teaches creative problem solving using 3D printing technologies and the design process. This 6-10 hour workshop is designed for 3rd-6th grade classrooms but can be adapted to fit a variety of environments. Read a full overview of the experience here: http://www.cityxproject.com/workshop/

Subject:
Manufacturing
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
IDEAco
Author:
Brett Schilke
Libby Falck
Matthew Straub
Date Added:
04/04/2014
The Climate Change Imperative: The Interdisciplinarity of Climate Change
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
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The second of this series, this video features Georgetown University faculty and administrators exploring the interdisciplinarity of climate change and its implications for education, including the need for project-based learning.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
Georgetown University
Date Added:
05/05/2015
Coding and Computer Science-VEX Robotics-Intermediate
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In this lesson students will become familiar with the Interface, learning how to setup the Robot and sensors. Students also examine Robot virtual worlds. Students then study robot movement by studying motor polarity, how to rename motors, and how to use time as a variable.

Students then continue looking at movement by learning how to control speed and direction, studying specifically Motor Power Levels, Turning and Reversing, and Manual Straightening. Students complete the Pathway by learning how to accomplish a specific task with their robot, studying the use of shaft encoders as a variable instead of time, writing conditional statements, and how to use the sensor debug window.

Subject:
Computer Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Brian Nicholas
Dan Smith
Date Added:
03/05/2019
Collaborative Learning
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Primo G. Garcia from the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) lectures on Collaborative Leaning: Cooperative, Problem-based and Project-based learning.

Subject:
Educational Technology
Material Type:
Lecture
Author:
Primo G. Garcia
Date Added:
06/08/2017
Concord Consortium: Solar Oven
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Elementary grade students investigate heat transfer in this activity to design and build a solar oven, then test its effectiveness using a temperature sensor. It blends the hands-on activity with digital graphing tools that allow kids to easily plot and share their data. Included in the package are illustrated procedures and extension activities. Note Requirements: This lesson requires a "VernierGo" temperature sensing device, available for ~ $40. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Consortium develops digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
04/02/2013
Creating Mini Wastewater Treatment Plants
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Student teams design and then create small-size models of working filter systems to simulate multi-stage wastewater treatment plants. Drawing from assorted provided materials (gravel, pebbles, sand, activated charcoal, algae, coffee filters, cloth) and staying within a (hypothetical) budget, teams create filter systems within 2-liter plastic bottles to clean the teacher-made simulated wastewater (soap, oil, sand, fertilizer, coffee grounds, beads). They aim to remove the water contaminants while reclaiming the waste material as valuable resources. They design and build the filtering systems, redesigning for improvement, and then measuring and comparing results (across teams): reclaimed quantities, water quality tests, costs, experiences and best practices. They conduct common water quality tests (such as turbidity, pH, etc., as determined by the teacher) to check the water quality before and after treatment.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
David Bennett
Sara Hettenbach
William Welch
Date Added:
06/01/2018
Design and Test a Ping-Pong Paddle
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
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Emphasizing the design, build, and test steps of the engineering design process, groups create a ping-pong paddle. After building their paddle, students conduct tests and compare their design to a store-bought paddle and use a Venn diagram to organize their information. Based on their results, students write product reviews for their paddle. This project allows students to build and test a design, iterate upon that design as well as explore how data analysis of a product works.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Kelsey Mongeon
Michelle Kuhlman
Date Added:
03/27/2019
Don't Put It Down, Put It Up!
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In a fifth grade classroom based around projects, everything has its place. This classroom profile shows you the design and purpose of Debra Harwell-Braun's fifth-grade classroom.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education
Provider Set:
LEARN NC Articles & More
Date Added:
03/07/2005
Dream It, Build It, Launch It!
Conditions of Use:
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This Super Lesson utilizes Project Based Learning to assist learners with designing, building, and testing flying contraptions as an introduction to Engineering. The goal of this project is to engage students in collaborative team work and to introduce students to the Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, and Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions.

We have offered this Super Lesson as an 8-week elective course, developing and strengthening student interest in applied Math and Science topics. It could also be offered within upper elementary or middle school Science and Math courses. In addition, each week’s topic could be used as a stand alone mini-lesson if time is limited. We have worked to include multiple options within this unit to make it accessible to both general education and special education programs, including recommendations for modifications and extensions.

Subject:
Applied Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
Lane County STEM Hub
Provider Set:
Content in Context SuperLessons
Date Added:
06/30/2016
Ecology Birdhouse Makerspace Project
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This project is a science based unit that incorporates using a makerspace. Students work together to research a local bird species and design and build a birdhouse to meet the specific needs of their species.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Christopher Montagna
Date Added:
03/16/2018
Ecosystem Invasion! (3rd Grade Life Science Unit)
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
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This integrated 3rd grade unit addresses the NGSS Life Science bundles for Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems (3-LS2-1, 3-LS4-3, and 3-LS4-4) and Inheritance and Variation of Traits: Life Cycles and Traits (3-LS1-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, and 3-LS4-2). Students embark on a mission to protect their native plants and animals by devising a plan to regulate and prevent the spread of invasive species in the area. Through a series of FOSS investigations and other OER (open educational
resource) lessons and activities, students learn about how an organism’s traits aid in survival, how parents pass on traits to their offspring, and how the environment influences plant and animal traits and behaviors.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Pranjali Upadhyay
Date Added:
01/04/2019
Engaging the High Achievers
Rating

In a multi-grade class of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders, students learn to work and communicate in teams. Through projects and a class structure that supports differentiation, Ms. Ehrke is able to keep students challenged and engaged. Her strategies for differentiation and communication can be used in any classroom.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Teaching Channel
Provider Set:
Teaching Channel
Date Added:
11/01/2012
Environments (3rd grade Life Science Unit)
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

This integrated OER unit focuses on the 4th grade NGSS bundle addressing Structure, Function, and Information Processing (Performance expectations 4-PS4-2, 4-LS1-1, and 4-LS1-2). Students are engaged in a storyline which presents them with the problem of preserving the pika population who live in the Columbia River Gorge, a species which has recently been threatened in this region due to climate change. Through a series of activities, labs, and field STEM experiences, students engage in scientific modeling and investigation, while building their understanding of how an organism’s internal and external structures enable survival, growth and reproduction. The unit culminates with the development of a product that can be shared with a public audience to instigate positive change in the community and help protect the pika.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Pranjali Upadhyay
Date Added:
01/04/2019
Exploring Nondestructive Evaluation Methods
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

Through this lesson and its series of hands-on mini-activities, students answer the question: How can we investigate and measure the inside of an object or its structure if we cannot take it apart? Unlike the destructive nuclear weapon test (!), nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods are able to accomplish this. After an introductory slide presentation, small groups rotate through five mini-activity stations: 1) applying Maxwell’s equations, 2) generating currents, 3) creating magnetic fields, 4) solving a system of equations, and 5) understanding why the finite element method (FEM) is important. Through the short experiments, students become familiar with the science and physics being used and make the mathematical connections. They explore components of NDE and see how engineers find unseen flaws and cracks in materials that make aircraft. A pre/post quiz, slide presentation and worksheet are included.

Subject:
Engineering
Algebra
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Lessons
Author:
Anton Efremov
Marianne Livezey
Oleksii Karpenko
Date Added:
11/01/2017
Forces and Interactions (3rd Grade Physical Science Unit)
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In this Unit, students embark on a mission to create a campaign which promotes seat belt use for a teenage audience. In the context of this project, students explore NGSS PE’s 3-PS2-2, 3-PS2-1, 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-PS2-3, and 3-PS2-4 while investigating the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces acting on an object. Through a series of collect evidence to write a claim based on evidence for why seatbelts are important.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Pranjali Upadhyay
Date Added:
06/18/2018