Project Based Learning – Science Lessons
Project based learning dates back to Aristotle, but has been used in Canadian and American schools increasingly over the past 50 years. Teachers and students have benefited from project based learning since the 1960’s, when colleagues from McMaster University began developing a unique approach to student engagement in the classroom. Through teacher-facilitated assistance, students were able to learn about various topics and subjects through a much more stimulating and engaging method of learning. With student learning as the focus, project based learning can help students to develop skills that are highly useful later in life.
Project based learning has multiple uses – it can be used across all grade levels and across all subjects, including science. When introducing PBL, students are given projects to work on with a team of their peers. They work collaboratively as they gather information to help them solve the problem they are assigned. As they dig deeper into the problem, they will eventually arrive at a solution, and thus develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills, followed by presentation skills.
Taking a project-based approach to science can make an often complicated and difficult subject highly enjoyable for all students involved. Fun science-based activities can be used in the science classroom to help students connect to the subject matter and promote a higher level of understanding of various science-based topics.
Science fair projects have always been a popular activity in science classes, which is a variation of project based learning activity. Students involved in these types of projects are given the opportunity to work with others to conduct research on a specific topic, solve scientific problems, and share what they found and learned throughout their investigation.
Project based learning units may also include science components and will allow students to:
- Develop a deeper understanding of the topic through hands-on activities
- With guidance, do their own research and brainstorming
- Use the platform to analyze the information they collect and make interesting discoveries
- Use critical thinking skills to solve the problem
- Have the chance to present their findings with their peers
As with any other project based learning assignment, students are able to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that will prove to be invaluable as they enter real life scenarios. PBL is the bridge between classroom learning and real life.
For teachers interested in bringing project based learning to their classrooms, the PBLSuperstore.com is the go-to- place for all PBL units. Our units are designed to be easily implemented into any classroom, and come with easy-to-understand instructions and support to make the implementation process go smoothly. Visit PBLSupertore.com for all your PBL needs and science project learning units!