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Challenge Accepted! Group PBL Unit Design

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Explore and create : Creation lab

Katie Manzanares  
Mitchel Meighen  

Use this interactive session to plan project-, challenge- and problem-based units for CTE and STEAM classrooms for grades 6-12. Participants will collaborate and then walk away with one or more units centered around current trends and issues in our world today.

Audience: Teachers, Curriculum/district specialists, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues.
  • Use collaborative tools to expand students' authentic, real-world learning experiences by engaging virtually with experts, teams and students, locally and globally.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will...
-Collaborate with education professionals to design PBL materials for use in a 6-12 setting
-Transform traditional learning assignments/assessments to a collaborative and engaging PBL format
-Discuss approaches for best practice with other education professionals

Evidence of success:
-Participants will leave this session with projects/units to integrate into any traditional or digital learning session and access to a library of resources designed by other attendees throughout the session


Presentation (25 minutes)
-Discuss PBL in STEAM while reviewing concepts and mindset shift in terms of assignment creation. How can you eliminate assignment preparation time by exchanging it with time for student exploration?

Collaborative Work Time (50 minutes)
-Separate/group participants with similar content/grade levels for collaborative workshop to develop materials through peer-to-peer interactions

Closing (15 minutes)
-Guided discussion: What did we learn? What did we create? How will this work in your classroom?

Supporting research

The development of student-teachers' professional identity while team-teaching science classes using a project-based learning approach: A multi-level analysis

Opportunities for educational innovations in authentic project-based learning: understanding instructor perceived challenges to design for adoption

More [+]


Katie Manzanares, Legend High School
Mitchel Meighen, Chicago Public Schools

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