Posted on Flickr by Eddi van D.

“Ripple in still water/When there is no pebble tossed/No wind to blow” – Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia

Lately we’ve been working in one of my PLC’s on integrating cross-curricular PBL’s into our STEM Academy. Castle View High School is organized into student-selected Small Learning Academies, and it seems the perfect location to take our current curriculum, add real world problems around student interest and ask them to solve. In order to attempt this, we have relied heavily on examples set by other outstanding schools, including SLA in Philadelphia and HTH in San Diego.

While we face several difficult issues, including problems surrounding our 4X4 schedule, unwilling teachers and a school district that does not always support teacher-initiated reform, we have begun planning a Problem Based Project regarding the design and use of school resources based on a school census.

CVHS has been promised a new wing (as soon as the public votes in favor of a bond initiative). While the footprint has been designed, the interior space is created and built to school specifics. While we are just in the planning stages, we have highlighted several Math, Social Studies, Language Arts and CAD skills that can be learned through this process.

We hope this project may start a series of ripples in our own pond, our school. Can we provide the opportunity for our students to toss that pebble, make the wind blow and then sit back and enjoy the effect – waves of change for the better? I sure hope so.