My students live in one of the most impoverished urban communities in Massachusetts, and many of them struggle with food insecurity, homelessness, and poverty. In the face of these challenges, they remain optimistic and hopeful. With hard work and dedication, they will develop the confidence, knowledge, and scientific and engineering practices needed for success in the 21st century.
They each bring to school a unique perspective that complements their inquisitive character and genuine desire to engage their minds and bodies when learning, building, and helping those around them to succeed.
As they look forward to making a brighter future, they want to leave behind the poverty and the uncertainty that has touched many of their lives. With your help, they will have access to the resources needed to successfully develop as independent thinkers with a disciplined yet creative imagination.
My "Project" is a series of project-based learning lessons that students build on through their middle school experience. The curriculum is designed to promote individual student growth and confidence through hands-on project-based learning and inquiry. Learning soft skills and discrete knowledge are embedded into student work -this helps to strengthen problem-solving skills, collaborative work relationships, and experience a transfer of classroom-acquired skills and information for real-world applications.
6th Grade Example:
Design and build species-specific birdhouses to help combat the decline in backyard bird population. Students will use the drills, handsaws, and belt sander to make a full-scale wooden birdhouse from their drawings.
7th Grade Example:
Design & build transportation technologies competition- Examples include CO2 or derby model car competition. Students develop an understanding of our modern structures and transportation system and its rich history. It culminates with the students designing and building a derby or CO2 car for a grade level competition. The students will use the drill press, band saw, disc/belt sander as well as other hand tools to bring their drawings to life.
8th Grade Example:
Eighth-grade students complete a capstone project utilizing the engineering design process. Students receive freedom to work collaboratively and choose an appropriate plan/topic of their capstone (subject to my approval). Three examples of projects students completed last year was a model house, a waterproofed cardboard canoe, and a catapult. The students use the shop vac for maintenance of the machines and safety within the classroom. Additionally, a bandsaw, disc/belt sander, drill press and corded drills, hand saws and many other types of tools get used.
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