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Community Building, The Refugee Experience, and American Stories on Display at Middle School PBL Showcase

Indian Creek Middle School students were excited to demonstrate their Quarter 2 learning with family, faculty, and friends at their  Winter Project Based Learning Showcase on Wednesday, January 25.  

Through the ICS  gold standard Project Based Learning curriculum, students in grades 6-8 conduct research then collaborate on intensive projects in order to answer strong driving questions. These projects rotate through English, Science, History and Interdisciplinary curricula, and provide students with opportunities to learn skills in organization, collaboration, and creativity in order to achieve deep learning.  During the second quarter, sixth grade students focused on Community Building, seventh grade honed in on the Refugee Experience, and eighth grade delved into American Stories.

The driving question for sixth grade asked, "How can we as community planners propose new ideas or structure to foster a society in which every child thrives?"  This English class project asked the students to use Lois Lowry's novel The Giver as a foundational text to answer this question. As they studied the novel, students practiced summarizing, making predictions, understanding different points of view, and comparing and contrasting themes and concepts. They learned how different communities function by studying examples, participating in group discussions, and conducting research. Students broke into small teams to focus on specific areas within a community, including Parks & Rec, Historic District, Shopping Malls, and Hospitals, and thought about how they can design a community with improvements to our real-world community, and different from the utopian society in The Giver.  They then used Tinkercad to design and create their section of the community with a 3D print model. Students shared their communities at the PBL showcase using 3D models, videos, essays, posters, and other media.  Click here to view a gallery of 6th grade PBL photos.

Seventh grade students endeavored to find out "How can we better understand and help refugees in our area?" through an interdisciplinary project. They practiced research, writing, and literary analysis using multiple texts dealing with the refugee experience, exploring personal stories, history, and the social and political landscape of various countries of origin for refugees settling in Maryland. At the PBL showcase, students addressed the refugee experience, especially in Maryland, through presentations about how citizens and government can facilitate a more welcoming environment. The seventh grade also created a booklet for the school community to inform them of issues pertaining to the refugee experience in Maryland. Click here to view photos of the 7th Grade PBL Showcase.

Eighth grade students undertook an history-based project, asking "How have the Second Industrial Revolution, the enormous changes in industry, and technology affected the modern world with ripple effects in economy, society, geography, health, and culture?" Students each chose an Industrial Revolution-era invention that changed the world, and created sophisticated demonstrations to prove the impact of their topics. Students produced traditional research papers and created artistic representations and interactive displays of their inventions. Click here to view a gallery of 8th grade PBL photos.

Congratulations to the ICS Middle School students and faculty on a successful Winter PBL showcase.

Indian Creek school is a co-educational, college preparatory independent school, located in Crownsville, Maryland.  Students in Pre-K3 through grade 12 receive a vibrant educational experience based on excellent academics steeped in strong student-teacher connections.