Fostering learning, excellence and civic responsibility through Project-Based Learning

April 26th, 2017

If you could spend two hours per day for about two weeks, trying to answer any question you wanted, what would your question be?  That was the opportunity given to MOC-Floyd Valley High School students last month.  Below are a few of the questions that drove student projects during the second annual MOC-Floyd Valley High School Project Based Learning Unit.

 “Can I separate Hydrogen from Oxygen in an electrolysis reaction in order to capture the gas and potentially use it for fuel?”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“Can I use my knowledge of drums to create an actual snare drum?” 

–MOC-Floyd Valley Junior

“What are HeLa Cells and how do they affect the world around me?” 

–MOC-Floyd Valley Sophomore

“What alternate endings can I come up with if I change one important detail in a story I write?”

— MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“Can we successfully take apart a laptop and desktop computer and put both back together?” 

–MOC-Floyd Valley Freshman

How can we maximize profits for the Raiders4Haiti project with the PBL time given?” 

–MOC-Floyd Valley Sophomore

During this exciting two-week unit, students designed their own projects, defined project supply needs and then completed their projects.  Regular coursework continued during the unit, but students had two hours at the end of each day to work on their projects.  The unit culminated with a Project Exhibition for their fellow students, teachers and community members.  Students received feedback on their projects around creativity, communication and value beyond school.

Projects ranged from cooking, painting, composing music, writing stories, building things, serving the community, producing videos, producing show choir shows, doing science research, restoring tractors, re-building go-karts, making water shoes, learning new instruments and more.

Just as interesting as the student-generated questions are the bits of wisdom they took away from their projects.  Below are several that definitely reflect the world I have come to know:

“It’s ok to fail.” 

MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“Measure twice, cut once, and maybe even measure more than twice!”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“The better you plan, the easier it will be and the less mistakes you will make.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“Always show others kindness throughout the day.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Junior

“Some things are harder than they seem.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Junior

“Working with other people is better than working by yourself.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Junior

“The way you ask a question can affect the outcome.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“Things take time and some figuring out!”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Sophomore

“Communication is key to success.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Junior

“Start small and dream bigger as you proceed.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Junior

“Painting is harder than it looks and time management is important.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Freshman

“The elderly are a ton of fun to talk with!”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Sophomore

“All things take time and practice, and working together is harder than we thought.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Junior

“Unless all group members are working for the same cause, you’ll never make it.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Freshman

“Everyone has their own strengths as well as weaknesses, and you need to learn how to deal with each one as an individual.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“Simple things can make people happy.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“I can be a leader!”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Freshman

“Sometimes the ideas that you think will work, won’t.  You need to have back-up plans when things don’t work or look the way you planned.”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Senior

“Kindness matters!”

–MOC-Floyd Valley Senior