Project Based Learning AT EXCEL

Project  Based Learning  (PBL) is a teaching  method in which students  gain knowledge and skills  by working for extended periods  of time to investigate and respond  to real-­‐world, engaging, and complex  questions, problems, or challenges that are  relevant to students’ lives and interests. PBL  creates a learning environment that fosters critical  thinking, inquiry, analysis and problem-­‐solving.

Students  engage in rigorous, standards-­‐aligned content that is anchored  in the world of work, so they develop the skills they will utilize  in their post-­‐secondary learning experiences and future careers. Twenty-­‐first  century careers require workers to identify complex problems and work collaboratively  with colleagues to create innovative solutions.

Excel’s students gain these experiences  in and across their core content classes and in their pathway programs of study.


Michelle Caine, a Biology teacher at Excel, is launching a new PBL unit with her students this Fall!

The project encourages students to green-ify Excel with the goal of creating more healthy and beautiful space for all the stakeholders (students, faculty & staff, partners). Students will learn about photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and the carbon cycle as they design their green space and will have to confer with peers and staff to determine best locations within the school building to make more green and sustain over the course of the year!

Thank you to Stapleton Floral for your support with this project!

PBL REsources:

Gold Standard Project:

TFor this project, students created tableaus based on their exploration of American ideals in English and US History. The tableaus where photographed and then converted into silhouettes in Photoshop. This project encourages students to see what reducing people, objects and things down to simple forms and shapes can do.  The result is a series of powerful images that investigate whether or not there is a gap between ideals and reality by using examples from current issues that affect our society today."

PBL Practice:

This month's PBL practice is actually a how-to on improving projects.