Our latest project work has a little different twist than our usual project based learning format. If you are a teacher using PBL or considering PBL, keep in mind that a challenge or contest can be a great way to incorporate a project into your teaching! We have been participating in the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge, which is a contest for K-12 students that encourages energy awareness and energy-saving actions.
There are key components that I like to include in our projects and this challenge includes a number of those elements:
- Students decided to be a part of the competition (I didn't sign us up and tell students they had to do the challenge). When I received an email about the challenge, I explained it to my students, we held a class discussion and our class decided it was an activity they'd like to take part in.
- Each challenge has different point levels for different actions. We discuss these options and students choose the point level they are aiming for (which is also a great goal-setting activity!)
Students Making a Difference:
- The actions that students are taking impact our school and community. For example, we turned off energy-consuming items to save energy as a part of the Do you really need it? challenge and we are aiming to reduce the amount of garbage in our classroom our latest challenge.
Going Beyond the Classroom
- Students worked at home with their families to identify energy-consuming items that they could turn off to save power.
- Via email, Skype and Twitter, our class has invited other classrooms and schools to help save energy by participating in our One Hour, No Power challenge. (We'd be happy if your school, classroom or workplace could help us with this challenge - contact us or comment to participate!)