Leland & Gray engages in Project Based Learning

TOWNSHEND, Vt. – Students at Townshend’s Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School are slated to begin a 10-week Project Based Learning (PBL) curriculum. As defined by The Buck Institute for Education, PBL is “a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.”

Leland & Gray (L&G) Principal Bob Thibault sees PBL as a way for students to be creative and stay engaged while developing transferable skills, which are included in graduation requirements. All L&G students will develop skills in clear and effective communication, self-direction, creative and practical problem solving, responsible and engaged citizenship, and informed and integrated thinking.

Project Based Learning Coordinator, Jesse Riemenschneider believes that “in order for our students to be successful students and people in the world, it will be incredibly important that they develop project design and implementation skills.” Thibault echoes these sentiments and adds, “Project Based Learning engages all types of learners and offers opportunities for every student to develop the skills they will need to become confident and creative thinkers and doers.”

Projects offered to L&G students include: slam poetry, community garden design, ghost stories and local folklore, theater set design, middle school unity, elementary outreach, documentary filmmaking, rocket building, study abroad program design, grant writing and fundraising, trail building, creating a rock band, Dungeons & Dragons, and international cooking. Students will spend 100 minutes every Wednesday working on their projects and in December will showcase their final products.

Reimenschneider hopes to have experts in the disciplines listed above to engage with students about their chosen project. She explains, “Outside experts encourage students to take on their projects proudly and with ambition, knowing that a professional in the field is taking them seriously while giving them examples of how the project topic shows up in real life.” Experts with experience related to the project topics are encouraged to reach out to Jessa Harger at jharger@windhamcentral.org for more information.

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