This year my senior science class has embarked on a learning journey. This class has been evolving from a traditional second year physics to a project-based learning (PBL) class that applies first year physics to real world situations. This year, we are researching and choosing a quad copter to build in class. While I am familiar with smaller projects, this is my first time to try a big project on a topic that I am learning along with the students. Since this opportunity was unplanned, I am working to stay one step ahead. (Not good practice for any class, especially PBL.)
Students have been made responsible for learning about flight along with real word skills like creating proposals and researching legal, safely and liability issues. I do not have the answers and often cannot affirm the students without some of my own research. They have become accustomed to the phrase “let’s look that up and see what we can learn”.
|Notes froma class discussion|
It is taking work to fight this idea. Some of the students understand this is a different class. They love the freedom to learn. They like the real life experiences as well as the choices they have while we progress through the project. They are excited that this is all their learning and work. The lost students will be found and they too will being to appreciate the opportunity to make this their own class.