Today, I get to brag on a set of my students. Project-based learning is at its very best when the result of a project period delivers a very real product. This doesn’t always happen. There are many times that projects end up being superficial if for no other reason than the time and resources to have the project come to life just aren’t there. (Case and point would be a group of students who recently developed a business plan to open a dairy farm that would in turn support an ice cream corporation. They went through all the motions of what it would be like to purchase the farm and develop a business plan, but completing the task would require more time and a lot of money of course.) Just because a project doesn’t always come to full fruition doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold a tremendous amount of value for students. How many fourteen-year-olds know what it would take to start a dairy farm and food corporation?
Sometimes, though, a project really does come to life. At the beginning of April, a group of students will realize their project as they place an educational garden in a local park. Through research, sponsorships, and a partnership with the city, students will see their project come to life. That, my friends, is the power of project-based learning. Empowering students to create and develop something that is very much real might be one of the best feelings I’ve ever had as an educator. This is how we change the game.
A local news outlet covered part of the story here.