As an educator, you know how difficult it can be to get students excited about learning. Students aren’t always interested in subjects like math and science, but it’s important for them to understand the basics, even if they have more interest in other subjects like art or technology. With project-based learning, you can get students involved and active in their learning through hands-on activities and initiatives. Project-based lessons get your students excited and involved while also helping them learn about all of the STEAM core subjects.
Getting started with project-based learning doesn’t need to be difficult or tricky. With a few ideas in hand, you get students up out of their seats and excited about their personal education.
Build A Catapult
What student wouldn’t want to launch a small object across the classroom? A catapult building project is a great way to get students of almost any age excited to start learning. This project helps students learn how technology, engineering, and design work together in order to successfully accomplish a goal, like launching a cotton ball across the room or even a kickball across a soccer field. From planning the mechanisms to actually building the catapult, students have to think through the entire project before they begin construction. If you work with younger students, consider using pre-cut wood or even popsicle sticks to build miniature catapults. For older students, consider allowing them to work in groups with dimensional wood and pulleys.
Film a Stop Motion Movie
While it might seem a little unorthodox, filming a stop-motion movie or video is a great way to get your students excited about learning. From running the camera to designing the set and thinking of the storyline, there’s something for every student to do during the movie making process. Calculations will be needed in order to know just how much movement should take place from shot to shot, story lines will need to be developed, cameras will need to be set up, and characters will need to be created. There’s opportunity for all of your students to get involved in some capacity or another while learning some valuable lessons and STEAM concepts.
Launch a Weather Balloon
Your students will love launching a weather balloon because there are so many things involved in the process. With a weather balloon project, students get to design their own experiment to launch into near space! To prep for the launch, you can discuss, as a class all of the hypotheses of the experiment and what exactly near space is like. Once the balloon is launched your entire class can track the progress of the weather balloon and get updates in real time about the temperature and pressure of the air around the balloon and experiment. At the end of the project, students will be able to touch something that was actually in space!
Project-based learning helps educators, like you, get students excited about learning. When students are able to get their hands on projects and see first-hand how different subject areas work together, they’ll recognize the importance of the subject, even if it isn’t their favorite one.
Want to start incorporating project-based learning into your classroom? Check out our “Intro to Project Based Learning and STEM” ebook to learn about how project-based learning and high altitude science can raise the retention rate of important information in your students.