Skip to content

Experiential Learning and School/Community Connections

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_separator color=”grey”][vc_tabs interval=”0″][vc_tab title=”Overview” tab_id=”1404930227-1-60f245-fd97″][vc_column_text]Project Based Learning can help teachers extend the classroom beyond the school walls. Frequently, projects can be extended to engage the internal and external school community. These projects can help provide partnerships that allow students the opportunity to work pro-actively with community partners.

Often these projects evolve based upon student research and interest, as well as the needs and interest within the community. Throughout the process, students can reflect on their work and experiences in both formal and informal ways.

Creating opportunities for students to work with community members can help to build their confidence, as well as their understanding of their important place within the school and community. These experiences can often be tied to service learning. “Research has shown that when schools implement high-quality service learning programs, students become more actively engaged in schoolwork, improve their academic skills, and become more likely to volunteer throughout their lives. Students are also more likely to develop personal and social skills such as conflict management, respect for diversity, empathy, and social responsibility. In addition, schools benefit by forming important partnerships with community agencies, and communities benefit by having their needs directly met “ (Billig, 2009; Furco & Root, 2010).

Defined STEM has many projects that can be done with local, outside experts to create meaningful applications of experiential learning. These community members can help provide insight and participate in the design and evaluation process. Their knowledge and skills may be beneficial in helping to reiterate the wants and needs of an audience and how the design addresses these needs through evaluation. The following performance tasks are just some examples of projects that can be connected with the community. These tasks strongly encourage this engagement.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][vc_tab title=”References” tab_id=”1404930227-2-66f245-fd97″][vc_column_text]

  • Billig, S. H. (2009). Does quality really matter? Testing the new K–12 service-learning standards for quality practice. In B. E. Moely, S. H. Billig, & B. A. Holland (Eds.), Advances in service-learning research: Vol. 9. Creating our identities in service-learning and community engagement (pp. 131–157). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
  • Furco, A., & Root, S. (2010). Research demonstrates the value of service learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(5), 16–20.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tab][/vc_tabs][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Elementary School” title_align=”separator_align_center” color=”blue”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_accordion title=”Performance Tasks” collapsible=”yes” active_tab=”false”][vc_accordion_tab title=”Arborist: Urban Tree Canopy”][vc_column_text]

Urban forests are becoming very popular in many cities across the country. Supporters of these initiatives have stressed the importance of water absorption to help keep the watershed clean. They have also discussed how urban trees can help the health of citizens by keeping the area cooler and minimizing pollution. Opponents point out the expense of planting new trees and managing the existing trees within the city. Also, damage that is created by falling trees during storms can be expensive and cause harm to people.

[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3Fd8mwa|title:Arborist%3A%20Urban%20Tree%20Canopy|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Weather Reporter: Reducing The Impact Of Severe Weather”][vc_column_text]Your school has decided to include weather updates and education in its curriculum. Your job is to report on the weather conditions daily. You are also responsible for conducting research to determine the types of storms that can be expected each month and set up a severe weather drill practice schedule, based on the information you find. You will also be required to assess the condition of the school grounds, make a note of any potential hazards, and design a solution for any you may uncover.[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3Focxwi|title:Weather%20Reporter%3A%20Reducing%20The%20Impact%20Of%20Severe%20Weather|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”A Sister City”][vc_column_text]

Your city has things that make it special. It has grown and changed over the years. The mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers, and creeks have helped to make the city what it is today. People and cultures have also played a part in the changes. Your task is to find a sister city somewhere else in the world. You will learn many things about your sister city as you form a relationship with them. This city must have the same water and land features as your city. You will want to share the similarities and differences of the sister city using the facts you have gathered.

[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3F8rtfl|title:A%20Sister%20City|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][/vc_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Middle School” title_align=”separator_align_center” color=”blue”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_accordion title=”Performance Tasks” active_tab=”false” collapsible=”yes”][vc_accordion_tab title=”Rain Barrel Manufacturer”][vc_column_text]

Rainwater harvesting refers to the collection and storage of rain. This water can be stored and used to water plants and flowers. It can be used to water lawns and wash cars. This rainwater would typically be washed away into a sewer. By collecting this water, it can help conserve water and lower household water bills. This type of harvesting can help reduce storm water runoff pollution. Many people are also looking at using this rainwater as a potable water source. These ideas are important for you to consider as you design your rain barrel. Your barrel does not need to meet every want, but it should be convenient, and provide water that is safe for a number of uses.

[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3Fas6wl|title:Rain%20Barrel%20Manufacturer|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Tot Lot: Designing a Playground”][vc_column_text]

You class has decided to enter a local playground design competition. The playground is to be designed for children from ages 2-6. The playground must be safe environment where children can have fun and be active promoting a healthy lifestyle. As you create the playground design you will need to consider safety issues. One example of this is making sure that swing set has enough room in from and behind so that children do not get hurt walking by. The playground should also be landscaped using geometric patterns. The design judges include math teachers and they want to see mathematical principles included within the design process. This competition will allow you to use your creativity to create a safe and fun place for children and parents. Good luck!!!

[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3Faksko|title:Tot%20Lot%3A%20Designing%20A%20Playground|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Environmental Club: Sustainability”][vc_column_text]

As concerns grow about the environment and human interactions, it is becoming increasingly important to utilize sustainable practices whenever possible. Your team will want to research ways in which other schools have become more sustainable and ”greener”. You will need to think about your school’s building and landscape to determine ways to make it sustainable. Once you have identified potential issues and solutions, your team will want to determine the value of making the changes.

[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3Fg6uz5|title:Environmental%20Club%3A%20Sustainability|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Research Consultant: Sampling”][vc_column_text]

Sampling is a common form of research that allows the researcher to gain information on the big picture by obtaining representative samples. This form of data gathering is used in science, environmental studies, social studies, business, and advertising. You can choose any topic that you desire. You will need to create a research study using sampling to demonstrate to leaders, and potential clients, the value that data can have and the conclusions that can be drawn from the data.

[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3Fhts2a|title:Research%20Consultant%3A%20Sampling|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][/vc_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”High School” title_align=”separator_align_center” color=”blue”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_accordion title=”Performance Tasks” active_tab=”false” collapsible=”yes”][vc_accordion_tab title=”Landscape Architect”][vc_column_text]As a landscape architect, you will work to create and design a landscape plan/blueprint for the grounds of your school. You will research the need for this change and the cost involved. Part of your research will include developing a survey to collect information about what students in your school would like included in the landscaping. You will create a design that includes walkways, shrubs, flowers, benches, etc., taking into account the necessary mathematical and engineering concepts that will make your design cost-effective, while increasing the visual appeal of the school grounds. You will develop a model that will be used in your presentation to the audience in hopes of securing the job. Analyzing the cost of your design will be necessary in order to obtain support from the school board.[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3F3u4yj|title:Landscape%20Architect|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Physical Trainer”][vc_column_text]

As part of the university’s mission, all staff are required to perform community service. It has been suggested to you that a number of community members might be interested in participating in a fitness program. With your knowledge and experience working with athletes, this may require that you adjust your routine to meet the needs of 35-45 year-old individuals who are not competitive athletes. These individuals are interested in losing or maintaining their current weight. They would like to learn a variety of exercises that they will be able to continue once the program is over. Additionally, they would like to learn about foods that they should be eating in order to help keep healthy, while maximizing their exercise.

[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3Fmowaq|title:Physical%20Trainer|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Urban Ecologist”][vc_column_text]

Urban forests are becoming very popular in many cities across the country. Supporters of these initiatives have stressed the importance of water absorption to help keep the watershed clean. They have also discussed how urban trees can help the health of citizens by keeping the area cooler and minimizing pollution. Opponents point out the expense of planting new trees and managing the existing trees within the city. Also, damage that is created by falling trees during storms can be expensive and cause harm to people.

[/vc_column_text][vc_button2 title=”Enter Task” color=”blue” size=”sm” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fdlrn.us%3F8kzsw|title:Urban%20Ecologist|target:%20_blank” style=”rounded”][/vc_accordion_tab][/vc_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]

%d bloggers like this: