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Science PBL

General Elementary Middle High

Problem Based Learning and Examples of Science Lesson Ideas

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional method of hands-on, active learning centered on the investigation and resolution of messy, real-world problems.  It originated in the late 1960s at the medical school at McMaster University in Canada.  It is a pedagogical approach and curriculum design methodology often used in higher education and K-12 settings.  The following are some of the defining characteristics of PBL:

  • Learning is driven by challenging, open-ended problems with no one “right” answer
  • Problems/cases are context specific
  • Students work as self-directed, active investigators and problem-solvers in small collaborative groups (typically of about five students)
  • A key problem is identified and a solution is agreed upon and implemented
  • Teachers adopt the role as facilitators of learning, guiding the learning process and promoting an environment of inquiry

The following links are from Best Kids Educational WebsiteReviews of the best K-12 interactive games and education sites for kids, parents and teachers.  Education websites reviewed here are listed on LearningReviews.com, a directory of more than 2,900 mostly free K-12 educational websites, rated and reviewed by teachers, parents and students.  The projects are often cross-curricular and incorporate STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.  Projects at some websites, such as iEARN, ePals, and CIESE, involve collaboration with other classes around the country or around the world.  **  Free registration is required to obtain project details at: CASES Online, PBL Online, ePals, and Take Action Curriculum.


General


Earth Sciences


Life Sciences


Space Sciences


Chemistry

  • ** CASES Online – Chemistry – 42 projects – grades 6-12
  • High Tech High – Drug Movie – impact of drugs on people & society – grade 10
  • Teach 21 – Chemistry Projects – 2 projects – grades 9-12


Engineering & Architecture

 

Physics


Physical Science


Technology

 

**  Free registration is required to obtain project details at: CASES Online, PBL Online, ePals, and Take Action Curriculum.

For a more complete listing of websites with PBL background, advice, lesson plan templates, and assessment and evaluation tools, look at the LearningReviews.com Project Based Learning directory.

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