Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Culminating Semester Project: Science Superheroes! - Section 5: Following Up: The Projects


I love doing a new lesson or project!  There are the things that we know are going to be powerful for students in terms of their learning-those are the things that drive us to create new classroom experiences in the first place.  But the exciting part for me is uncovering the unintended benefits that always come out of a good project idea.  I am thankful to the education leaders at SFMOMA and KQED for helping to spark this variation of their amazing work with artist Amy Franceschini.

One of my goals for this school year was to focus upon what was most relevant to student life in each unit of our biology class.  My thinking was that by doing this in a substantive way through interesting readings, visuals, and extended projects, I could hook students into complex concepts that can often feel sterile and unrelated to real life in ways that highlighted how science is vital and integrated into our daily experiences.  This project takes this idea one step further by giving over the question What makes this important to kids? directly to the students.  What I heard is that students are worried about our planet: climate change, endangered species, pollution, overdevelopment, food choices and quality are all areas that came up repeatedly.  They are also concerned about their own mental, physical, and emotional health in this fast paced world.  The themes were so focused and so strong, it was impossible to ignore as a trend and something that will impact my teaching next year as well.

 The other piece of this project that made it special was the community component.  During our climate change unit, student quickly shifted from talking about the issue into talking about what could be done about the issue.  They want to be able to affect change and impact their community in positive ways now and for their future.  This project allowed them to envision things they could themselves right now to address the issue that they had chosen as a major priority in their life as a young person and scientifically literate citizen. 

I'd love to hear about the ways you take this project and shape into an even more powerful experience for students in the classroom and out in their communities!

  The Hidden Benefits of the Superhero Project
  Adjustments to Practice: The Hidden Benefits of the Superhero Project
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Culminating Semester Project: Science Superheroes!

Unit 10: Unit 10: Human Anatomy & Physiology
Lesson 9 of 9

Objective: SWBAT identify a science related community issue and develop a solution that we can do together to help address it.

Big Idea: Get students thinking about big-picture issues and how science can help solve them as they create their own science superhero and perform a superhero action in their community!

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