Hello- I am trying my hand at our first project-based learning experience. I teach 7th grade physical science. We are completing projects on electromagnetism. Any advice will be helpful...up next- Rube Goldberg machines....

Views: 794

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I can't help too much with the electromagnetism project. My 4th-graders built electromagnets using a FOSS module -- it'll probably be too basic for your class, but here's a link.

However, when it comes to the Rube Goldberg machines, I definitely suggest having your students design them in Phun, a free program that allows you to build things that are controlled by the laws of physics. (Search "phun machine" on YouTube, and you'll find dozens of examples.) Also, here's a cool video:

Katy- I love the FOSS link- thanks! They do have wonderful Middle School programs- perfect for Physcial Science. Do you simply use what is available free on the web? Tell me more about your FOSS experiences. Do your students submit any photos for the multimedia part? I showed some Phun YouTube videos on my SmartBoard yesterday- a hit! They want to try to Phun program. Do you have experience with this? Any tips? I think we will still want to build with real materials for a parent program.
I don't have information specific to physical science, but I do have model that may help you design your project task. This information is from Understanding by Design. We are using this model to create project-based performance tasks for our Social Studies topics. I hope you find this helpful...

Understanding by Design: Performance Tasks
Complex challenges that mirror the issues and problems faced by adults. Ranging in length from short-term tasks to long-term, multistage projects, performance tasks yield tangible products and performances. Performance Tasks contain the following characteristics:
• Involve real or simulated setting and kind of constraints, incentives and opportunities an adult would find in a similar situation
• Typically require the student to address an identified audience
• Are based on a specific purpose that relates to the audience
• Allow students greater opportunity to personalize the task
• The task, evaluative criteria, and performance standards are known in advance, and guide student work
Only 1-2 Performance Tasks need to be designed per unit. When designing a performance task, consider the following:
GRASPS: Goal; Role; Audience; Situation; Performance; Standards
Yankee Doodle Travel Agency: Grade 4
(G, R) As a travel agent, your goal is to create a travel agency business, and a travel itinerary including detailed information about your town; such as historical landmarks, topography, and places of interest. (A) Your target audience will be tourists who have never been to your town. (S) The context you will find yourself in is as a travel agent working in a small business with 3-4 other people. You must work as a group to advertise your business in order to entice clients to want to visit your agency, and tour your town. (P) You will create a display for your travel agency business, including business cards. Your display must also include detailed information about your town: a map; pictures or photographs; and a travel brochure. You will also create a PowerPoint presentation containing information about your town and the tour you will offer your tourists so that they will have a full understanding of the history of your town and what it has to offer them. (S) Your product must be done on a large presentation board, and contain all components: advertising of your business including business cards; pictures or photographs of your town; information on town topography, population, history, and landmarks; a brochure created on Microsoft Publisher. A PowerPoint of the “tour” must also be included. All components must be neat and organized, and will be graded with the rubric that is provided.

• Your task is to…
• The goal is to…
• The problem or challenge is…
• The obstacles to overcome are…
• You are…
• You have been asked to…
• Your job is…
• Your clients are…
• The target audience is…
• You need to convince…
• The context you find yourself in is…
• The challenge involves dealing with…
Product, Performance, and Purpose
• You will create a…in order to…
• You need to develop…so that…
Standards and Criteria for Success
• Your performance needs to…
• Your work will be judges by…
• Your product must meet the following standards…

Darla Miner
Thanks Darla- I will share this with our social studies teacher- I know she will love it! I think the GRASPS can be adapted well to any subject.Cindy
Yes- the Understanding by Design is for all subject areas. I only have a Social Studies example typed up because we are currently designing that curriculum. I like the way it allows for project-based learning, we need to get back to that kind of teaching. Students are highly motivated and engage in critical thinking, and apply many skills through project-based learning.
Hi Cindy,
Please come join fellow PBLers in the Classroom 2.0 group, PBL~Better with Practice. You'll find a community of colleagues with great expertise, which they are oh-so-willing to share. You can post questions here and get terrific, just-in-time feedback.
On the PBL~Better with Practice page, you'll also find recordings for a series of webinars that we just finished hosting.
Hope this helps!
Hi Suzie- Thanks, I am in! :)
Could you share this info about a project happening right now with the biological or environmental science teacher at your school?
Digital Ocean: Sampling the Sea is a collaborative global project from researchers at UC Santa Barbara. They want middle and high school science teachers to participate in a project on seafood and ocean sustainability in March-May. You can get info from the link at www.epals.com,. They are using the new ePals LearningSpace as a way to organize student contributions, etc. (LearningSpace is a virtual workspace with digital lockers, multiple web 2.0 tools, automatic language translation, and a high degree of student safety.)
So sorry I did not get further with this. I did look at epals. Please keep me in tune with something going on for next year- would love to collaborate!
One of my favorite projects from physics was when we created a room sized rube goldberg device. We began by creating a small device with one partner. Then we - as a class - were each responsible for a different section of the room size device. We began by coming up with a task - in our case it was to make three types of kool-aid. Then we were each assigned a section of the device. We had to work as a team, as a class, to make it happen. It was so empowering. I can't imagine a project like that with the publishing power of the read, write web. Good Luck!!!
I work with lifelike projects with my students. And they work like this:

The students chose a theme for their project, and they research about that theme. Then, they decide what they want to know and they’ll try to reach that. At this point, some opportunities emerge for the pedagogical objectives.

Let me give you one example: my students chose to study about planets, so everybody guess they only learned about that, but no: In the end, they decide to build a spaceship in order to conclude their project about the space and they had to learn math, angles, shapes, etc. in order to build their spaceship. So, maybe if you try and let your students decide what they want to learn.



Win at School

Commercial Policy

If you are representing a commercial entity, please see the specific guidelines on your participation.





© 2021   Created by Steve Hargadon.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service