Tips for setting up project-based learning in your classrooms

Six Essentials for PBL
1. Create teams of students (3-4) to work on an in-depth project for three to eight weeks.
2. Introduce a complex entry question that establishes a student’s need to know,
3. Scaffold the project with activities and new information that deepens the work.
4. Calendar the project through plans, drafts, timely benchmarks,
5. Have the teams make presentations to an outside panel of experts drawn from parents and the
6. Provide timely assessments and/or feedback on the projects for content, oral and written communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and other important skills.

Original Source: Edutopia-Project-based learning teaches kids the collaborative and critical-thinking abilities they’ll need to compete
Author: Bob Pearlman

Project-based Learning

Why Teach with Project-Based Learning?: Providing Students With a Well-Rounded Classroom Experience

Project-based learning helps students apply what they learn to real-life experiences and provides an all-around enriching education. Read More

Culture and Neuroscience

Your brain on culture

The bur­geon­ing field of cul­tural neu­ro­science is find­ing that cul­ture influ­ences brain devel­op­ment, and per­haps vice versa.

When an Amer­i­can thinks about whether he is hon­est, his brain activ­ity looks very dif­fer­ent than when he thinks about whether another per­son is hon­est, even a close rel­a­tive. That’s not true for Chi­nese peo­ple. When a Chi­nese man eval­u­ates whether he is hon­est, his brain activ­ity looks almost iden­ti­cal to when he is think­ing about whether his mother is hon­est.

Read More

Knowmia: A new video platform launched for educators from the flip video cofounder

Ariel Braun­stein knows a lit­tle some­thing about video. He cofound Pure Dig­i­tal, maker of the pop­u­lar Flip video cam­era, which landed in the hands of mil­lions of consumers.

This time his goal is pro­vid­ing soft­ware to help teach­ers pro­duce effec­tive video lessons and stu­dents dis­cover and learn from them. Read More

Flipped Classrooms

Read about a new approach in stu­dent engage­ment: What is the flipped classroom?

A reversed teach­ing model that deliv­ers instruc­tion at home through inter­ac­tive, teacher-created videos and moves “home­work” to the classroom. Moving lec­tures out­side of the class­room allows teach­ers to spend more 1:1 time with each stu­dent. Stu­dents have the oppor­tu­nity to ask ques­tions and work through prob­lems with the guid­ance of their teach­ers and the sup­port of their peers — cre­at­ing a col­lab­o­ra­tive learn­ing environment.

2012 MESA USA National Competition – Results

Tucson Magnet H.S.

RENTON, WA – On Saturday June 23rd, over 70 MESA students from 9 states competed in Washington at this year’s MESA Wind Energy National Design Challenge hosted by Washington MESA and Boeing at the Renton Assembly Plant. The top three teams from middle school and high school competed with over 20,000 MESA students nationally to be recognized as the best of the best in the design challenge. Isbell Middle School and Amos Alonzo Stagg High School, both from California, gained top honors.

The host state of Washington placed well with Mcloughlin Middle School of Southwest Washington Vancouver MESA taking 3rd place overall. Mclouhglin also ranked high in the “Wind to Energy Competition” and the “Design Efficiency” components.

Overall Middle School Team Winners:
–1st Isbell M.S. (CA) – Tobin Fincher, Carson Gray, Carlos Gomez, Nathan Rabago
–2nd Lake Elkhorn M.S. (MD) – Deep Biswas, Alec Boyd, Lucero Espinal
–3rd Mcloughlin M.S (WA) – Sydney Fox- Middleton, Livia Anderson, Yesenia Ceron Nava, Tracy Tran

Overall High School Team Winners:
–1st Amos Alonzo Stagg H.S. (CA) – Julian De Los Santos, Sean Ferguson, Emily Cornelison, Brooklyn Omstead
–2nd Tucson Magnet H.S. (AZ) – Jessica Fowler-Chavez, Sunita Ghimire, Sun Bear Milda, William Sam
–3rd Socorro H.S. (NM) – Daniel Gonzales, Tyler Lam, Tim Abeyta, Sarah McLain

Next year’s national competition will be hosted by Oregon MESA.

MESA has a new website

Welcome to the new Washington MESA website! We hope you like the new look and are easily able to find what you need. We will continue to add content, particularly items geared specifically for students, parents, and teachers. In the meantime, we welcome any feedback you care to share at Thanks in advance!

Statewide Washington MESA Day to be held May 19 at Microsoft

MESA Day display boardSEATTLE, WA – Washington MESA Day, a one-day event of academic challenges for middle and high school students representing six MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) Centers from across the state, will be held Sat., May 19, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, Wash.

Fostering collaboration with the state’s rich community of scientists and engineers, MESA Day students will showcase their talents for future careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Sponsored by Microsoft, the event will feature regional MESA team winners competing in three core challenges highlighted by a wind energy challenge (WEC) during which students will work with teachers and mentors to construct a windmill to generate electricity. The WEC winner will go on to compete in the national MESA competition hosted by Washington MESA at the Boeing Renton Plant, June 22-25.
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