Applications due Friday, February 26, 2016!
For an application, please email Melissa Dowland.
The Museum of Natural Sciences and Exploris School are partnering on an exciting new program! Join a cohort of dynamic and innovative teachers of grades 4, 6, and 8 to implement Project Based Learning (PBL) in your classroom. Beginning with an immersive outdoor experience in a bottomland swamp, and followed by training and mentorship in PBL by experienced educators, PBL Fellows will develop an issues-based case study (integrated thematic unit) that applies best practices of PBL to the standards that you teach. Throughout the 2016–2017 school year, PBL Fellows will work closely with colleagues and mentors to bring a current North Carolina issue to life in their classrooms.
Schedule (all meetings are mandatory):
Friday-Saturday, May 6–7, 2016: Overnight field experience and introduction to PBL
The program will launch with an immersive two day canoe camping trip to the remote bottomland hardwood swamp along the Roanoke River in eastern North Carolina. PBL Fellows will camp on the Roanoke River Partners’ platforms among the homes of beaver, barred owls, and migratory songbirds. Go to bed to the hootin’ and hollerin’ of barred owls and wake to the sweet calls of prothonotary warblers. Our overnight river experience will provide an introduction to issues-based PBL and be the launch platform to guide and inform our development of PBL case studies. Transportation from Raleigh, canoe and platform fees, most meals and most camping gear are included. We can also provide support for a substitute teacher on Friday, May 6 if necessary.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 (9:30 am–3:30 pm): Dive in to PBL!
At this all-day workshop led by teachers from The Exploris School, we will explore the details of effective Project Based Learning. Based on our swamp field experience, and adapted for grade-level-specific science standards, each participating educator will begin the process of designing a PBL case study to use in their classroom. Educators will work in grade-level teams to develop their case studies, each mentored by an Exploris teacher. Lunch is included.
Friday, September 9, 2016; Thursday, November 3, 2016; and Thursday, January 5, 2017: Mentoring Meetings
Over the course of the 2016-17 school year, the Fellows will meet regularly to continue to learn and discuss PBL best practices and to work on their case studies in grade-level teams. All meetings will be held in the evening from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Dinner is included. There will be an additional opportunity for classroom observation at Exploris School.
Friday, March 3, 2017, 5–9 pm: Capstone Presentations at the Museum
The final component of high quality PBL is for students to present findings in a public forum. The Museum will host a special Teen Science Cafe with a speaker tied to our PBL theme and provide an opportunity for Fellows and their students to give interactive presentations on their work. Each participating teacher can invite up to three students and their families to present at the Museum. Dinner is included for all attendees.