Including media making in project-based learning allows students to communicate their STEM learning in a powerful and creative way.
Media-making uplifts the science and engineering practices of obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. This makes for a unique opportunity to make student learning visible while practicing all three dimensions of NGSS: Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices.
KQED offers three project-based learning opportunities for middle and high school students to strengthen science communication, while encouraging them to tackle real-world issues. Use these media making challenges to ignite your students’ creativity in your science or STEM classrooms:
- Science Documentary challenges students to make short science documentaries that explain an observation, topics, or issue.
- Engineering for Good encourages students to show off their creative problem solving through the engineering design process.
- Call for Change empowers students to step up as advocates for change for causes that matter to them, such as climate change and environmental awareness.
Get inspired by the awesome examples below from our Youth Media Showcase. Grab the free, modifiable curriculum for each challenge here see for yourself how easy it is to incorporate media making into your existing science lesson plans!
Engineering Solutions for Global Issues
- Invent, Extract, Collect Hear from Jacob, Lorenzo, and Oliver about their 3-step plan for stopping plastic pollution in oceans.
- Portable Workspace—Fostering Education Everywhere Om, Ruby, and Grace’s product aims to give foster children stability in their education.
- Arctic Night Sidak, Agatha, and Kaitlin want to help students get better sleep with this water-cooled pillow.
- Plastic Entanglement Atticus, Logan, and Mateo focus on the hazardous conditions that plastic population creates for the world’s biodiversity.
Deepening Learning with Science Documentary
- Earthquakes: Behind the Shaking Francesca’s video dives into the science behind earthquakes, as well as the dangers and benefits that earthquakes bring.
- Quantum Entanglement and Superposition Mya created simple graphics to explain complex topics in quantum physics.
- The Best Burger Mario walks viewers through the steps of making a hamburger, while explaining the science behind the process.
- Why do Tsunamis Occur Itsawat and Jose detail the damage tsunamis can cause and hope their video can be used to encourage others to be safe.
- Beehive Colonies Ezra wants people to protect beehive colonies because of the massive benefits they bring to the environment.
Advocating for Change with STEM
- A Mushroom Point of View Abril’s podcast makes a case for incorporating biomimicry into design thinking to solve modern day problems.
- Water Conservation in California Casey assesses the cause of California’s water shortage, its consequences on the environment, and details what the government and people in communities can do to help.
- A Withering World Eva and Leo highlight how climate change is making it impossible for native plants to adapt.
- Lead in Water Emily details the dangers of lead in water and offers solutions to solve this problem.
Give your students a creative outlet to share their STEM learning with a media making project. Aligned to NGSS, ISTE and CCSS, these projects are perfect for any middle or high school science or STEAM class. All student submissions are published to the Showcase, and some may be featured on KQED’s homepage, digital channels, and in posts like this one!