OHS Students Show And Tell About Project Based Learning

OHS students drew a crowd to the food cooking demonstrations.

OHS students drew a crowd to the food cooking demonstrations.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The process used to educate is always evolving. Today, besides technology, students learn from doing hands-on, by being challenged to demonstrate what they learned, and how they got to that conclusion.

This past week, the doors to the Oskaloosa High School opened up in the evening to allow students, teachers, parents and the public into the PBL (Project Based Learning) Showcase.

Oskaloosa Senior High Principal Stacy Bandy said that the PBL Showcase gives people a chance to see “what really is happening in the classrooms”. Bandy said that the students are given a question they need to solve through research. Then, one of the steps is that they have to critique it, then present it to the public and their peers.

Bandy said that the event helps the public gain knowledge of what is being done within the school to help educate the students.

“These kids are really having a good time showing the projects they’ve gone and researched, and made, to solve the problems they have been posed in class,” said Bandy. Some of those projects include marble sorters that were designed by students. Horticulture, automotive, science and many other classes all had project demonstrations being demonstrated.

One of those projects drawing a crowd was the cooking demonstrations. There, students were demonstrating how to make chicken strips, Chinese, and many other dishes. Down the hall from them, in the video production classroom, students produce and host their own television newscasts.

Katelyn Smith is in her second year with Oskaloosa Video Production. “I really enjoy getting to the journalism part and being able to be in newscasts.”

Writing scripts and and getting the footage for the video packages is something that Smith enjoys.

Smith feels pressure. “Right when the teleprompter starts I start to get nervous, but as we start to go, it gets a lot easier.”

Bandy said that they are trying to offer many different “flavors” of projects, “Why? Because it’s hands on. Kids learn better when they are doing, not just sitting there being lectured.”

“Plus, when they are interested in it, when it’s something they care about, they learn that much better and they retain,” says Bandy.

A group of teachers helped to lead the way for the evening’s activities, and Molly Sterner is one of those who helped to facilitate the evening.

Sterner said that over 30 projects and demonstrations were part of the evening. With many OHS students in attendance, Sterner said that she hoped that parents would get a good look into what their kids have been doing at school so far this year.

“Project Based Learning has a public element,” said Sterner. “We’ve been focusing on Project Based Learning lessons in our classrooms for the last few years, but this is the first year we’ve decided to really showcase this way.”

“There are differences between PBL and the traditional form of learning.” says Sterner. “The traditional form of learning might be the teacher giving a lecture, and then giving a test about the information covered there. Project Based Learning is different because kids start with a question. They really guide their own research, they ask their own questions as followups to those questions, and one student’s outcome might be different than another student’s outcome. And that’s OK.”

 

Posted by on Mar 11 2015. Filed under Education, Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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