My middle school students are currently working in collaboration with the New Mexico Wildlife Center to learn the physics of kayaks through building their own personal, functional kayak.
Students are learning about buoyancy, resistance, kayak design, riparian ecosystems, and weather. We are spending the winter months building the kayaks so that we can explore water habitats in the spring.
At the 2015 NMAG Fall Institute, Alicia Cotabish presented on both project-based and problem-based learning. She highlighted the differences as well as the way in which they are appropriate for high ability learners. There are numerous advantages to using project-based learning with gifted learners including:
- It is interdisciplinary
- It is aligned with curriculum and supported by NAGC Gifted Programming Standards
- It allows for in depth inquiry and problem solving
- It lends itself to differentiation and scaffolding
- Student can take ownership of their learning
- It allows for collaboration, critical and creative thinking
- It can motivate and engage students
- Students are addressing real world, authentic problems