Power Up Project-Based Learning with PBS LearningMedia

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Engaging Students in Technology and Engineering Projects/American Graduate

Project Based Learning – or PBL - is an important instructional strategy that many teachers use to engage students. These featured resources can enhance PBL lesson and inspire creative, new activities. Sign up for PBS LearningMedia to create interactive activities using quality multi media from PBS and partners.

Design Squad Nation | Collection | Grades 1-8
Design Squad gives students a stronger understanding of the design process, and the connection between engineering and the things we all use in everyday life. The results of engineering are all around us: from cars to cameras and everything in between. Design Squad Nation equips kids with science and math skills, inspires them, and lays the foundation they need to participate in engineering activities later in life. Use these Design Squad Nation resources to explore the world of science and engineering.

Scaling the Solar System | Video  | Grades 5-8
This video segment from Teaching Earth and Space Science shows how teacher Mark Goldner uses a classroom scaling activity to give eighth-grade students a physical feel for the vast spatial scale of the solar system. Goldner has his students approximate the size of the planets and the Sun using familiar objects; for example, Earth is represented by a peppercorn and the Sun is represented by an 8-inch beach ball. Goldner helps his students work out the scale of the model (1 inch equals 100,000 miles), and they think about both the sizes and distances between the planets in the solar system.

The Heat Loss Project | Video  | Grades 5-12
In this project-based learning activity,  science students use digital technologies to measure heat loss in the home. Teacher Lawrence Perretto explains the engineering skills students acquire as well as the larger implications the project has for teaching students about environmental conservation.

A School Project with a Purpose! | Curriculum and Videos | Grades 9-12
This project explores community landscapes and how land is developed for aesthetic and safety concerns. Based on the "Flagship Project" for Message to the Future Foundation (M2tf.org).


Integrating Disciplines in PBL | Video | Grades 11-13+
In this professional development video from Getting Results, instructors from different disciplines fit content from their disciplines into one integrated project that simulates a real-world problem. The instructors—from physics, technology, math, and communications disciplines—discuss the project and work with their students. One instructor explains that each course revolves around a real-world home insulation problem. The communications instructor, for instance, teaches students to write a formal report on their product. Communication between the instructors is key to integrating the different courses.

Learning Environment | Video  | Professional Learning
Watch a center-based educator set up thoughtfully planned learning environments to engage children in the PEEP science curriculum Explore Ramps. Learning centers that are intentionally designed can spark children’s curiosity and motivate them to experiment, test, and investigate. Learn a variety of professional development standards, including strategies that build upon children’s interests and backgrounds, ways to engage and communicate with them, and how to use project-based learning to generate excitement and deeper learning.

A Feast for Every Season | Video | Professional Learning
Each spring, students at Montclair's Mt. Hebron Middle School grow their community garden together. This episode of NJEA's Classroom Close-up shows how this project is able to reinforce classroom learning while strengthening the school community.

Engaging Students in Tech & Engineering | American Graduate | 13+
Learn how MOUSE is engaging middle and high school students in technology and engineering in this video from American Graduate Day 2013. Beginning in the middle school years, students can join the MOUSE Squad, which trains them to become technology experts in their schools. As 11th and 12th graders, students can start to design new technologies in the MOUSE Crops. After selecting a service-orientated theme, the MOUSE Corps members design, test, and refine technologies that benefit other people. Use the handout in the teacher's resources to help prepare for a technology or engineering partnership at your school.