Challenge Based Learning



Take action and make a difference
Introduction
Traditional teaching and learning strategies are becoming increasingly ineffective with a generation of secondary students who have instant access to information, embrace the roles of content producer and publisher and have access to extensive social networks online.
High school curriculum tends to present students with assignments that lack a real- world context and that lead to uninspired projects and end in a letter grade or score. Many students either learn to do just enough to get by or they lose interest and drop out. In this interconnected world, with ubiquitous access to powerful technologies, new models of teaching and learning are possible, and engagement is paramount to meeting the needs of more students.
Outside of school, students encounter media that present participants with a challenge and require them to draw on prior learning, acquire new knowledge, and tap their creativity to fashion solutions. The entertainment networks have capitalized on this formula with shows such as The Amazing Race, Top Chef, Trading Spaces, and Project Runway.
The task of engaging more students to achieve has become increasingly important. To that end, Apple worked with educators across the country to develop the concept of Challenge Based Learning. Challenge Based Learning applies what is known about the emerging learning styles of high school students and leverages the powerful new technologies that provide opportunities to learn through an authentic process that challenges students to solve problems and make a difference.
The Challenge Based Learning effort is part of a larger collaborative project initiated in 2008 called Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow—Today (ACOT2) to identify the essential design principles of the 21st century learning environment with a focus on high school. ACOT2 follows in the tradition of Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT), a research and development collaboration among public schools, universities, and research agencies that Apple initiated in 1985 and sustained through 1995 with outstanding results.
Challenge Based Learning is an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that encourages students to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems. Challenge Based Learning is collaborative and hands- on, asking students to work with peers, teachers, and experts in their communities and around the world to ask good questions, develop deeper subject area knowledge, accept and solve challenges, take action, and share their experience.
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Challenge Based Learning provides:
•A multiple entry point strategy and varied and multiple possible solutions •A focus on universal challenges with local solutions •An authentic connection with multiple disciplines •An opportunity to develop 21st century skills
•The purposeful use of Web 2.0 tools for organizing, collaborating, and publishing
•The opportunity for students to do something rather than just learn about something
•The documentation of the learning experience from challenge to solution
•24/7 access to up-to-date technology tools and resources so students can do their work
These attributes enable Challenge Based Learning to engage learners, provide them with valuable skills, span the divide between formal and informal learning, and embrace a student’s digital life.
Key Components
The Challenge Based Learning process begins with a big idea and cascades to the following: an essential question, a challenge, guiding questions, activities, resources, determining and articulating the solution, taking action by implementing the solution, reflection, assessment, and publishing.
The Framework
Big Idea Essential Question
The Challenge GuidingGuidingGuiding resources
questionsactivitiesWeb and iTunes U Solution—Action
Assessment
Publishing
:
student samplesPublishing: student observation
:
The Big Idea: The big idea is a broad concept that can be explored in multiple ways, is engaging, and has importance to high school students and the larger society. Examples of big ideas are Identity, Sustainability, Creativity, Violence, Peace, and Power.
Essential Question: By design, the big idea allows for the generation of a wide variety of essential questions that should reflect the interests of the students and the needs of their community. Essential questions identify what is important to know about the big idea and refine and contextualize that idea.
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The Challenge: From each essential question a challenge is articulated that asks students to create a specific answer or solution that can result in concrete, meaningful action.
Guiding Questions: Generated by the students, these questions represent the knowledge students need to discover to successfully meet the challenge.
Guiding Activities: These lessons, simulations, games, and other types of activities help students answer the guiding questions and set the foundation for them to develop innovative, insightful, and realistic solutions.
Guiding Resources: This focused set of resources can include podcasts, websites, videos, databases, experts, and so on that support the activities and assist students with developing a solution.
Solutions: Each challenge is stated broadly enough to allow for a variety of solutions. Each solution should be thoughtful, concrete, actionable, clearly articulated, and presented in a publishable multimedia format such as an enhanced podcast or short video.
Assessment: The solution can be assessed for its connection to the challenge, accuracy of the content, clarity of communication, applicability for implementation, and efficacy of the idea, among other things. In addition to the solution, the process that the individuals as well as teams went through in getting to a solution can also be assessed, capturing the development of key 21st century skills.
Publishing: The challenge process allows for multiple opportunities to document the experience and publish to a larger audience. Students are encouraged to publish their results online, soliciting feedback. The idea is to broaden the learning community and foster discussion about solutions to the challenges important to students.
The Process
Challenge Based Learning follows a workflow that mirrors the 21st century workplace. Students are given enough space to be creative and self-directed and at the same time are provided with support, boundaries, and checkpoints to avoid frustration. The workflow can be structured and modified in a variety of ways. The following process is provided as a starting point but is not meant to be prescriptive.
Setting Up a Collaborative Environment
A shared working space is helpful for a successful challenge. The workspace should be available to students 24/7, include needed resources, access to activities, a calendar, and serve as a communication channel with the teacher and between team members. There are a wide variety of Web 2.0 resources available for project management and collaboration.
Introduction
Once the big idea is selected, the first step is to develop with the class an overview of the big idea and the related essential question. This sets the broader context and foundation for the work that will follow. The class then identifies a suitable challenge or is introduced to one of the existing challenges.
Team Formation
In today’s workforce, individuals with various skill sets typically work together in teams on specific projects or challenges. During this team formation stage, it is important to consider roles and responsibilities and discuss the developmental nature of teams.
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Assessment
The teacher and the teams discuss what they will use as a measure of their success and adopt, adapt, or develop a project rubric to gauge the success of their solution.
Guiding Questions
After the teams are formed and briefed, the students begin the process of identifying the questions that will guide their analysis of the challenge topic. These questions outline what the students think they need to know to formulate a viable solution. Questions will be answered, reframed, or new questions will be formulated along the way as information is gathered and concepts explored. The guiding question phase is extremely important as it creates the map for learning and sets the foundation for developing a solid solution. It is important to take time and stay in the questions and not rush to a solution.
Guiding Activities and Guiding Resources
During this stage, the teams seek to find answers to the guiding questions by participating in a variety of learning activities, conducting research, experimentation, interviewing, and exploring various avenues to assist in crafting the best solution. The activities can be teacher directed or student directed, whole group, small group, or individual, depending on the topic and the need. The goal of this stage is for students to gain a solid foundation on which to develop their solution.
Prototype/Testing
Once the students have identified possible solutions, they can build them, try them with small user groups, or present them to a focus group. This process allows the teams to polish their solution.
Implement
The next step is to develop the implementation plan for the solution and put it into action. The scope of implementation will vary greatly depending on time and resources, but even the smallest effort to put the plan into action in a real-life setting is important.
Assess
The teams can use the project rubric developed at the beginning of the process to gauge the success of their implementation.
Reflection/Documentation
Throughout the process, the students should document their work and reflect on the process. Much of the deepest learning takes place by considering the process, thinking about one’s own learning, analyzing ongoing relationships with the content and between concepts, interacting with other people, and developing a solution. Blogs, video, podcasts, digital storytelling, and photographs are all great ways to document and reflect on the process.
Publish
Students should be encouraged to publish their work in a variety of locations. One way for students to publish is to create a two-to-three minute video about their solution and share it locally or post it online for broader visibility.
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Ongoing Informative Assessment
Informal assessment that helps students move toward a viable solution should take place throughout the project. Formal assessment can take place at specific points within the project. Three obvious points of assessment involve the development of an articulation of what makes a compelling solution, assessment of their documentation of the process, and the results of the action taken. This type of practical evaluation is much closer to how work done in the world outside of school is evaluated.
Example Challenges
To illustrate the Challenge Based Learning process, Apple has engaged with educators across the country to develop a series of challenges that can be used or modified by other teachers. These initial example challenges fall under the big ideas of Sustainability and Identity. A summary of these initial challenges is included here. See the Appendix for details of each.
Sustainability is a defining issue for this generation. In this instance, the term is defined broadly as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (www.epa.gov/Sustainability). A wide variety of challenges can be presented under the Sustainability umbrella such as the four challenges presented here on the issues of water, food, energy, and air.
Identity is a big idea for high school students. Who they decide to emulate and spend their time with can have a significant impact on their futures. The model challenges developed under the big idea of Identity include self and group.
These are meant to be examples and to serve as discussion points. Teachers and students can work with these challenges or determine new themes and challenges that are important and meaningful to their specific context.
Big Idea—Sustainability: Water, Food, Energy, Air
Water Essential Question: How does my water consumption impact my world?
It is a simple fact of life: we need water. Water is essential to life on earth. We need it to drink, keep clean, generate power, and grow the food we eat. We are using up our planet’s fresh water faster than it can be replenished naturally. You can make a difference by improving the use of water in your home, school, and community.
Challenge: Improve your home, school, or community use of water. Food
Essential Question: How does my food consumption impact my world?
You are what you eat. So what are you? Maybe it’s time to consider food and how it affects our bodies and the world around us. The decisions we make when deciding what to eat have a significant impact on our personal health and well-being, our ability to perform the activities we engage in, and our environment.
Challenge: Improve what and how you eat.
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Energy Essential Question: What is the impact of my fossil fuel consumption?
Eighty five percent of U.S. energy consumption is of fossil fuels. They also play a part in a wide variety of other products we use daily. Any way you look at it, dependence on fossil fuels is problematic. They are a finite resource, the source of considerable pollution, and supply cannot meet worldwide demand. So what can you do to reduce your family’s consumption? You first need to discover all of the ways that you use fossil fuels in your everyday life—not just the car trip to the mall or school but all of their more hidden uses. Then you need to act.
Challenge: Reduce your family’s use of fossil fuels. Air
Essential Question: How do my actions impact the air we breathe?
The air we breathe has no boundaries. What we put in the air ends up in someone else’s lungs. According to the American Lung Association, in 2001, over 6 million American children and close to 14 million American adults suffered from asthma. We also know that the quality of the air has a negative impact on the ozone layers and that many cities issue ozone warnings. Not only is the quality of our outside air a concern, but we also are learning that the air we breathe in schools and our homes may be hazardous.
Challenge: Improve the air you breathe. Big Idea—Identity: Self and Group
Self Identity Essential Question: Who am I and who do I want to be?
Are you equipped for the journey through high school? Do you have the tools you need to succeed? As with any expedition or journey, careful thought needs to go into the tools and resources you place in your backpack. This is a time to identify your inspirations, examine your challenges, explore passions and goals, and create a virtual backpack of resources that will help you become successful.
Challenge: Create a virtual backpack (portfolio) for success. Group Identity
Essential Question: Who am I and who do I want to be?
The groups or teams you spend time with can determine what you are exposed to and who you are. They also can support you as you work toward your goals and aspirations. You are going to spend the rest of your life participating in formal and informal teams and groups both socially and professionally. It is important for you to spend some time thinking about how teams work, the different kinds of teams, and to consider the qualities of team members you need now to succeed. What do you want to accomplish and what kind of team do you need to do so?
Challenge: Design your dream team for success.
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Opportunities to Participate
Challenge Based Learning is built with the participatory nature of the Web 2.0 world in mind, and there are multiple opportunities for participants to share. By promoting participation and sharing, Challenge Based Learning can develop organically and leverage the interests of students and teachers across the globe. As the world changes, new big ideas, essential questions, and challenges can be posed. The level of participation will vary based on time constraints, interest, and so on. Within the Challenge Based Learning process, teachers and students can participate at many different levels. We hope that you will leverage the wide variety of social networking resources currently available to share your solutions and new challenges. Tag your contributions with ACOT2 and Challenge Based Learning so they can be readily found.
Engage your students in a challenge. Implement one of the challenges with your students.
Publish. Once you have taken on a challenge, have your students document their solutions through video and publish them within freely available online repositories such as the Apple Learning Interchange (ALI), iTunes podcast directory, iTunes U, YouTube, TeacherTube, Ning, and Facebook.
Create new challenges. Students and teachers will be invited to create a new challenge using the standard template. Perhaps you have a different sustainability issue that impacts your community or an entirely new big idea, essential questions, and challenge. As you publish new challenges, others can engage with you.
Moving Forward
Today’s challenges call for bold action. No longer can school be a time where the curriculum is devoid of reality and opportunities for immediate application. Students are looking to be challenged in an authentic manner. They need to learn how to confidently ask questions and identify, research, analyze, and solve problems. Challenge Based Learning is designed to equip a new generation of students to solve real problems, develop 21st century skills, and make a difference in their community and the world. When provided with guidance, students can approach today’s critical challenges and make a difference.
The Challenge Based Learning Community will provide a space for teachers, students, and experts to address local challenges that are impacting neighborhoods, communities, and the world. It will encourage participation at many different levels, allowing for the organic development of a rich and engaging body of knowledge and community freely available to all educators. Learning communities can share different perspectives on issues and consider the variety of challenges faced around the globe and the solutions to these challenges designed by students. Powerful ideas combined with youthful creativity and cutting edge technology will address the myriad challenges facing our world, country, and communities.
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Appendix
Sustainability: Water
The Essential Question
How does my water consumption impact my world?
Overview
It is a simple fact of life: we need water. Water is essential to life on earth. We need it to drink, keep clean, generate power, and grow the food we eat. We are using up our planet’s fresh water faster than it can be replenished naturally. You can make a difference by improving the use of water in your home, school, and community.
The Challenge
Improve your home, school, or community use of water.
Guiding Questions
Guiding questions direct the research of the challenge topic.
Examples
•How do we use water? •How much do we use? •How is water wasted? •How much water is wasted? •How can water be conserved?
Guiding Activities
These activities assist students with answering the guiding questions and set the foundation for them to develop insightful and realistic solutions. They can be student or teacher directed. The student teams may begin with these activities but will need to seek out new ones to answer their questions. The goal is not to create a prescribed path to a solution but to provide guidance when needed.
Examples •Setting the Foundation
Student groups brainstorm everything they know about water, then search the Internet for basic water information and the top water issues. See “Guiding Resources” for websites to start this research.
•Calculate Your Individual Water Footprint
Students determine how much water they and their families use with the H2O Calculator available from the National Wildlife Federation.
•Water Source Scavenger Hunt
Students use the Surf Your Watershed site provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to locate the community’s watershed. If available, they use the data in the site to identify local groups or experts to interview about the watershed.
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•Where Does Your Water Go?
Students research how much water is used to brush their teeth, flush the toilet, and water the yard. The U.S. Geological Survey provides a web-based water calculator that gives a general overview of water use. They can also use a spreadsheet to track the use of water in their household.
Guiding Resources
This is focused content that supports the activities and assists students with developing a solution. The ingredients include websites, videos, podcasts, experts, and other resources.
Examples •Indoor Water Use in the United States
This site from the Environmental Protection Agency provides statistical information about indoor water use.
www.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/indoor.htm
•Water Science for Schools
This U.S. Geological Survey site includes a wide range of resources about many aspects of water and includes pictures, data, maps, and an interactive water knowledge test. http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/mwater.html
•Conserve and Protect Water
This site from the National Wildlife Foundation provides a personal water calculator and other water-awareness activities.
www.nwf.org/water
•WaterSense Quiz
This activity from the Environmental Protection Agency is designed to help raise students’ water awareness. The site includes many other resources.
www.epa.gov/watersense/water/text.htm
•Surf Your Watershed
This Environmental Protection Agency site identifies your local watershed and any citizen-based groups that are active in your area.
http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/locate/index.cfm
•Water Drops: All About H2O
This series of 90-second podcasts from renowned hydrologist Peter Black provides comprehensive information about water.
http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/esf.edu.1520520292
•Water for Tea
In this 12-minute video from NASA, Star Trek star Patrick Stewart hosts a voyage to better understand the “bigger picture” of water on earth.
http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/lifeonterra.com.1525139207
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Solution/Action
The challenges are stated broadly enough to allow for a variety of solutions. Each group of students will base its solution on what students have learned as they moved through the guiding activities. Any solution must be concrete and actionable.
Example
Students researched and recorded all of the ways that water was being used in their school. They checked all fixtures for leaks, looked at student and teacher use, and explored how water was used for landscaping. They determined that one of the largest sources of water use was the school landscaping. The students went about determining the amount of water necessary to sustain the current landscaping, the source of that water, and alternative landscaping options. They designed a plan for changing the school landscaping that included a plant palette, a forecast for the amount of water saved, and a budget and prediction of the district’s return on their investment. To explain their plan, students created public service announcements as well as brochures. All of this information was then presented to the school board.
Sustainability: Food
The Essential Question
How does my food consumption impact my world?
Overview
You are what you eat. So what are you? Maybe it’s time to consider food and how it affects our bodies and the world around us. The decisions we make when deciding what to eat have a significant impact on our personal health and well-being, our ability to perform the activities we engage in, and the environment.
The Challenge
Improve what and how you eat.
Guiding Questions
Guiding questions direct the research of the challenge topic.
Examples
•What do I eat? •Where does my food come from? •What is the cost of getting food to my table? •How does food impact me? •How does the food I eat affect the world? •What is in my food? •What are some local sources of food? •Why do I eat? •Why do I eat what I eat? •What does food mean to me?
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Guiding Activities
These activities assist students with answering the guiding questions and set the foundation for them to develop insightful and realistic solutions. They can be student or teacher directed. The student teams may begin with these activities but will need to seek out new ones to answer their questions. The goal is not to create a prescribed path to a solution but to provide guidance when needed.
Examples •What Are the Issues?
Students complete a review of Internet resources with their guiding questions. Websites that can be used to get started are listed in “Guiding Resources.” Students brainstorm issues surrounding food, thinking both micro (their eating habits) and macro (community and global impacts).
•Analyze Your Menu
Students create a photo journal of what they eat for lunch or dinner during a normal week. They take pictures, create a spreadsheet, and identify the ingredients, number of calories, and how much of it they consumed.
•Food Map
Students take one of the items they eat for lunch, identify its contents, and attempt to track the source of the contents. They see if they can determine the number of miles the food travels to get to them.
•What Should I Eat?
Students review dietary recommendations from a variety or sources. They determine how many calories are recommended on a daily basis. They then review their diet inventory to see how many calories they are consuming. They break down where the calories come from in terms of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. They also consider the sources and science behind the dietary recommendations.
•What’s in the Package?
Students analyze food packaging at their school, what gets recycled, what gets thrown away. Research includes the amount of waste along with recycling strategies and alternative products. Are the current packaging strategies sustainable environmentally?
•Label Scavenger Hunt
Students learn about the purpose of and how to read nutritional labels. They collect a label from one item of food that they consume and analyze its content.
Guiding Resources
This is focused content that supports the activities and assists students with developing a solution. The ingredients include websites, videos, podcasts, experts, and other resources.
Examples •U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Information Center
This USDA site provides comprehensive food and human nutrition information, including the current Dietary Guidelines and materials for educators.
http://fnic.nal.usda.gov
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• Foodroutes.org
This website provides information about the importance of buying local and how to do it in your neighborhood.
http://foodroutes.org
•Local Harvest
This website allows you to locate farmer markets, family farms, and other sources for purchasing sustainably grown foods in your area.
www.localharvest.org
•The Oil in Your Oatmeal
This movie presents an analysis of the overall cost of a breakfast when all factors are considered.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsOsipWacG0
•Cooking Up a Story Podcast
This podcast from the Local Food Sustainable Network provides information about issues involving food and sustainability. Two episodes relate to the documentary King Corn (2007), which concerns the use and production of corn in the United States, including the role of high fructose corn syrup in our daily diet. http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=251805518
•Chef Ann’s Podcast
This podcast from school chef Ann Cooper explores issues related to school food and nutrition for students.
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=121140232
•Where Does Your Food Come From?
In this episode of The Ethics of Eating podcast from American Public Media, Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, argues for a more sustainable food production system. http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/americanpublicmedia.org. 1353684204.01353684211.1351757528?i=1620428009
Solution/Action
The challenge is stated broadly enough to allow for a variety of solutions. Each group of students should base its solution on what students learned as they moved through the guiding activities. The solution must be concrete and actionable.
Example
Students researched one regular lunch item at school and discovered the ingredients, the nutritional value, the manufacturer, and the cost per serving. They then researched possible substitutes for the item that contained locally grown ingredients, was more nutritional, and was cost effective. They conducted a comparison between the two food items and a tasting for the students. The analysis and recipe were presented to the head of food services, parents, and the school board. A letter writing campaign along with testimony from local nutritional experts was used to convince the food service department to try the new recipe.
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Sustainability: Energy
The Essential Question
What is the impact of my fossil fuel consumption?
Overview
Eighty five percent of U.S. energy consumption is of fossil fuels. They also play a part in a wide variety of other products we use daily. Any way you look at it, dependence on fossil fuels is problematic. They are a finite resource, the source of considerable pollution, and supply cannot meet worldwide demand. So what can you do to reduce your family’s consumption? You first need to discover all of the ways that you use fossil fuels in your everyday life—not just the car trip to the mall or school but all of their more hidden uses. Then you need to act.
The Challenge
Reduce your family’s use of fossil fuels.
Guiding Questions
Guiding questions direct the research of the challenge topic.
Examples
•What is a fossil fuel? •Where does my family use fossil fuels? •How much fossil fuel does it take to heat or cool my house? •What is made from fossil fuels? •How much gas does my family use in one week? •How much oil does it take to make a gallon of gas? •What are the alternatives to fossil fuels?
Guiding Activities
These activities assist students with answering the guiding questions and set the foundation for them to develop insightful and realistic solutions. They can be student or teacher directed. The student teams may begin with these activities but will need to seek out new ones to answer their questions. The goal is not to create a prescribed path to a solution but to provide guidance when needed.
Examples •Learn About Fossil Fuels
Students research and develop a clear definition of fossil fuels.
•Oil Scavenger Hunt
Students examine all of the things they use in a normal day and do research to learn if they contain or use oil. They try to quantify the amount of oil each item represents.
•How Much Fossil Fuel Do You Own?
Students create a list of products that have fossil fuels in them. They do an inventory of all the items in their homes that contain fossil fuel and investigate alternatives to these items.
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• Transportation
Students calculate the amount of gas used during the week to transport members of their family. They then identify alternatives.
•How Much Fossil Fuel Is in a Plastic Bag?
Students calculate the amount of fossil fuels needed to create plastic bags. They record how many plastic bags their family uses in a week. They then determine how much energy they can save by not using plastic bags.
•Finding Alternatives
Students research providers of alternative energy sources in their community. They interview the providers and identify pros and cons of the options.
Guiding Resources
This is focused content that supports the activities and assists students with developing a solution. The ingredients include websites, videos, podcasts, experts, and other resources.
Examples
•Energy Story: Fossil Fuels—Coal, Oil and Natural Gas
The California Energy Commission provides an overview of fossil fuels.
www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/chapter08.html
•Fossil Fuels
This site from the Institute for Energy Research includes an overview of fossil fuels.
www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/energy-overview/fossil-fuels
•Energy Efficiency
The Energy Information Administration provides information for students about energy consumption and efficiency.
www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/saving/efficiency/savingenergy_secondary.html
•Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government
This site includes a large collection of raw data to use for analysis from the Energy Information Administration.
www.eia.doe.gov
•Personal Impact Calculator
This global warming calculator, from the AOL Research and Learn site, can be used to measure a household’s greenhouse gas emissions and learn how to reduce them. This calculator was updated in December 2006 with data from the EPA. http://reference.aol.com/planet-earth/global-warming/calculator
•AAA Fuel Cost Calculator
This site provides a tool for estimating the fuel cost of trips using the starting location and destination and vehicle manufacturer, year, and model.
www.fuelcostcalculator.com
•Smart Energy
This podcast from Stanford professor Margo Gerritson explores technologies and ideas to power the world safely and efficiently.
http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/itunes.stanford.edu. 1380022380
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•Stanford University Woods Energy Seminar
This interdisciplinary series of talks primarily by Stanford experts covers a broad range of energy issues.
http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/itunes.stanford.edu.
1635890187
•Inside Renewable Energy
This overview of the renewable energy industry includes interviews, news, events, product information, and more.
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=135363982
Solution/Action
The challenges are stated broadly enough to allow for a variety of solutions. Each group of students will base its solution on what students learned as they moved through the guiding activities. Any solution must be concrete and actionable.
Example
Students researched different ways that their families utilized fossil fuels. They determined that the use of plastic grocery bags was one area where they could reduce the amount of fossil fuels used. Students first did an inventory of how many bags each team member’s family used during a normal month. They calculated the amount of fossil fuels that these bags represented. They then designed and implemented a green bag campaign that acted both as a fundraiser for the school and measurably reduced the number of plastic bags their families used monthly. The green bag campaign included designing creative bags that would be attractive to consumers, determining the cost of production, developing a marketing plan, and selling the bags. A final comparison showed that the footprint of the bags was less than the plastic bag consumption.
Sustainability: Air
The Essential Question
How do my actions impact the air we breathe?
Overview
The air we breathe has no boundaries. What we put in the air ends up in someone else’s lungs. According to the American Lung Association, in 2001, over 6 million American children and close to 14 million American adults suffered from asthma. We also know that the quality of the air has a negative impact on the ozone layers and that many cities issue ozone warnings. Not only is the quality of our outside air a concern, but we also are learning that the air we breathe in schools and our homes may be hazardous.
The Challenge
Improve the air you breathe.
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Guiding Questions
Guiding questions direct the research of the challenge topic.
Examples
•What is the composition of air? •How is air quality defined? •What is the quality of the air in my home and community? •What impacts air quality? •How does air quality impact plants and animals? •How can air quality be improved?
Guiding Activities
These activities assist students with answering the guiding questions and set the foundation for them to develop insightful and realistic solutions. They can be student or teacher directed. The student teams may begin with these activities but will need to seek out new ones to answer their questions. The goal is not to create a prescribed path to a solution but to provide guidance when needed.
Examples •Learn About Air
Students explore the guiding resources to gain background knowledge on the atmosphere and air quality.
•Create a Virtual Environment
To learn about the impact of airborne pollutants, students create two terrariums, introduce different pollutants to one, and compare their impact on the plants.
•Community Air Quality Review
Students visit the airnow.gov website (see “Guiding Resources”) and determine the quality of the air in their location. They identify the major types of pollution and determine their sources.
•How Is the Air Quality in My School?
Students use the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit to investigate indoor air problems. The kit is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (see “Guiding Resources”).
•Cost Benefit Analysis
What is the cost of clean air? Students research what it costs companies to modify their process to meet air quality regulations. They explore how that impacts the cost of products. They also interview local companies to see how they protect air quality and what it costs them.
Guiding Resources
This is focused content that supports the activities and assists students with developing a solution. The ingredients include websites, videos, podcasts, experts, and other resources.
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Examples •AIRNow Air Quality Index (AQI)
This cross-agency U.S. government site has an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your outdoor air is and what associated health effects might be a concern. http://airnow.gov
•Indoor Air Quality
This Environmental Protection Agency site provides information about indoor air quality.
www.epa.gov/iaq
•Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program
The IAQ TfS Action Kit, most elements of which can be downloaded from this Environmental Protection Agency site, shows schools how to carry out a practical plan to improve indoor air problems. www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/toolkit.html
•Ground-level Ozone
This Environmental Protection Agency site includes general information on ozone and ground-level ozone.
www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution
•Major Air Pollutants
This PDF document provides a list of major air pollutants, their sources, and their effects.
www.ciese.org/curriculum/airproj/docs/major_air_pollutants.pdf
•Pollution in Your Community
At this site, you can get an in-depth pollution report for your county, covering air, water, chemicals, and more.
www.scorecard.org
• Health
This site presents information about air pollution from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
www.cdc.gov/nceh/airpollution
•Air Quality
This video podcast from University of California Davis covers topics related to air quality.
http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/ucdavis-public.1454546375
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Solution/Action
The challenges are stated broadly enough to allow for a variety of solutions. Each group of students will base its solution on what students learned as they moved through the guiding activities. Any solution must be concrete and actionable.
Example
Students investigated the air quality issues in their school using the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) Action Kit provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. This in-depth program contained all of the content they needed to analyze, correct, and prevent indoor air quality issues in schools across the district. Using the information they learned, they created a series of video public service announcements that were distributed to all schools. They made presentations to the district executive team and board resulting in the adoption of district-wide policies and educational programs concerning school air quality.
Identity: Self
Essential Question
Who am I and who do I want to be?
Overview
Are you equipped for the journey through high school? Do you have the tools you need to succeed? As with any expedition or journey, careful thought needs to go into the tools and resources you place in your backpack. This is a time to identify your inspirations, examine your challenges, explore passions and goals, and create a virtual backpack of resources that will help you become successful.
The Challenge
Create a virtual backpack (portfolio) for success.
Guiding Questions
Guiding questions direct the research of the challenge topic.
Examples
•Who am I? •What is my passion? •What are my challenges? •What are my goals? •How do I solve problems? •How do I learn? •What resources do I have? •What resources do I need? •What talents/skills do I have/need to develop?
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Guiding Activities
These activities assist students with answering the guiding questions and set the foundation for them to develop insightful and realistic solutions. They can be student or teacher directed. The student teams may begin with these activities but will need to seek out new ones to answer their questions. The goal is not to create a prescribed path to a solution but to provide guidance when needed.
Examples •Blindsight Movie
Students view the movie Blindsight and discuss the individual characters and how they interacted. What are the characters’ passions and goals?
•Student Mind Maps Students create mind maps of themselves. They start with their name in the middle
and brainstorm everything they feel is a part of their self image.
•What Are You Passionate About? Students identify the things they are passionate about, take a photograph of them,
and create a digital photo essay.
•Goal Survey Students identify their goals for this year and then three and five years from now.
•Student Inventory Students each do an inventory of what they carry around in their physical backpacks.
They rank the importance of the items as “essential,” “trivial,” or “unnecessary.” Students discuss what each essential item says about them.
•Tribute Video Students do research, conduct interviews, and create a short film about a person who
inspires them.
•Role Model Search Students identify inspirational and passionate individuals in their community and
invite them to class to speak. They record and archive the talks.
Guiding Resources
This is focused content that supports the activities and assists students with developing a solution. The ingredients include websites, videos, podcasts, experts, and other resources.
Examples
•Finding Your Passion
Entrepreneur.com identifies five questions for determining one’s passion.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/homeofficemagcom/2001/march/
38294.html
•Inspiration Inventory
A PDF document that guides students to identify an individual that inspires them
http://edcommunity.apple.com/ali/galleryfiles 15905/2_inspiration_evaluation_handout.pdf
•Blindsight Video and Website
This is the official website for the Blindsight movie and includes information about the movie and options for purchasing the DVD.
http://www.blindsightthemovie.com/
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Solution/Action
The challenges are stated broadly enough to allow for a variety of solutions. Each group of students will base its solution on what students learned as they moved through the guiding activities. Any solution must be concrete and actionable.
Example
Using a variety of resources and activities, students addressed each of their guiding questions. In comparing their findings, they determined one of the key ways that many students were creating a personal backpack and managing how they are seen by their friends and the public was through social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. They also determined that many students were doing a poor job of safeguarding how they presented themselves in a public forum. To remedy the situation and meet the challenge of designing a virtual backpack, students developed an educational campaign about how to best use social networking as a resource and how to avoid harming their reputations by what they posted. The educational campaign included a video about creating a personal brand that ran on the school’s cable television program, flyers on the do’s and don’ts of social networking, and an assembly presentation for the entire school.
Identity Group
Essential Question
Who am I and what do I want to be?
Overview
The groups or teams you spend time with can determine what you are exposed to and who you are. They also can support you as you work toward your goals and aspirations. You are going to spend the rest of your life participating in formal and informal teams and groups both socially and professionally. It is important for you to spend some time thinking about how teams work, the different kinds of teams, and to consider the qualities of team members you need now to succeed. What do you want to accomplish and what kind of team do you need to do so?
The Challenge
Design your dream team for success.
Guiding Questions
Guiding questions direct the research of the challenge topic.
Examples
•How do groups affect individuals? •What are some examples of teams? •What is the difference between a bad team and a good team? •What team roles are constructive and what roles are destructive? •What are the attributes of a good teammate? •How does a team cope with failure? •How does a team formulate goals?
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Guiding Activities
These activities assist students with answering the guiding questions and set the foundation for them to develop insightful and realistic solutions. They can be student or teacher directed. The student teams may begin with these activities but will need to seek out new ones to answer their questions. The goal is not to create a prescribed path to a solution but to provide guidance when needed.
Examples •Blindsight Movie
Students view the film Blindsight and identify characteristics of the climbing team and discuss how they impacted the journey. They review specific clips from the film and discuss the team dynamics within the Blindsight expedition team.
•Defining a Team Students create a definition of a team.
•Sport Team Analysis Students analyze current and historical sports teams and identify the elements that
make them successful or unsuccessful. They explore the impact of individuals on teams.
•Historical Team Analysis Students explore the importance of teams in history from how U.S. Presidents put
together their Cabinets to the organization of famous expeditions. Which teams worked; which did not? How did certain individuals affect teams?
•Teams in the Movies Students look at how teams are portrayed in a variety of films, such as Apollo 13,
Rocket Boys, Miracle on Ice, and so on. Students locate and analyze teams in different movies.
•Team Building Students participate in various team building activities and discuss the lessons they
learn.
•My Team Inventory Students identify the teams in their lives and explore how their lives are impacted.
They look at what roles they play on their different teams.
Guiding Resources
This is focused content that supports the activities and assists students with developing a solution. The ingredients include websites, videos, podcasts, experts, and other resources.
Examples •Six Teams That Changed the World
A Fortune online article that explores the team building of companies that created products or campaigns that made business history
http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/31/magazines/fortune/
sixteams_greatteams_fortune_061206/index.htm
•5 Steps to Building Your Personal Team
How to surround yourself with people who can help you succeed
http://www.maximumbalance.com/community/node/36
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•Team Building Activities
A collection of activities to explore the dynamics of team building
http://wilderdom.com/games/InitiativeGames.html
•Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
A podcast exploring how Lincoln formulated his Cabinet team
http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/gilderlehrman.org. 1427858301.01427858305.1436757029?i=1726857230
Solution/Action
The challenges are stated broadly enough to allow for a variety of solutions. Each group of students will base its solution on what students learned as they moved through the guiding activities. Any solution must be concrete and actionable.
Example
Students identified a variety of “teams” in their schools and their impact on students. They determined that the first month of ninth grade could be a difficult time for students. It is a time when students might make poor decisions about how they spend their time and who they associate with. As one solution, students developed a Dream Team program in which seniors acted as captains and recruited ninth graders to become part of their team. The teams started the year with an afternoon retreat in which they viewed the Blindsight movie, discussed the importance of teams, and participated in team building activities. Through a virtual space and face-to-face meetings, the Dream Teams supported each other throughout the school year.
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