Having students learn history with detective work is just one way that a summer school is engaging students in long term project-based learning.
Probing the early history of downtown Arkansas City, Kansas, proved to be a project that 50 middle school students enjoyed for a four week summer program. They researched 19 buildings by looking through historical newspapers, photos, and touring the buildings themselves.
The students took building measurements, and interviewed some of the business people currently and formerly occupying them. They then presented their finding on computer slide shows.
Project-based learning is a new approach for Arkansas City Middle School. Principal Will Pfannenstiel says that they intend to continue using it.
“The goal is to help students improve their reading and math skills through this new approach,” Pfannenstiel said. “This was an opportunity to start with a smaller group than with the whole school during the school year.”