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Project Expo

Project Expo

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) students regularly engage in Project Based Learning (PBL), in all classes where students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. MNPS will host a Secondary Schools Project Exposition open to all middle and high school students in the district. The MNPS Project Expo allows us to recognize the efforts of our teachers and students, who have engaged in Project Based Learning. Our goal is for all students in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) to regularly engage in Project Based Learning (PBL). In this process, students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. These rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice 21st Century Skills such as collaboration, communication and critical thinking.            
The Student Project Expo will be held on Thursday, March 6, 2014, at Trevecca Nazarene University. During this event, students in grades 5-12 will showcase their collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking skills by displaying projects created throughout the year in preparation for college and careers.
For additional questions or information regarding the MNPS Project Expo please email
mnpsprojectexpo@gmail.com. Here is a link to Frequently Asked Questions . 


We encourage each school to have school-based or class-based events with a public audience to showcase student projects. We invite each school to select its top project in each of the 7 categories to be showcased at the District level. All entries will require an abstract to be submitted for scoring which will be a percentage of the final score at the Expo. The abstracts will be submitted online and will be due January 24, 2014. In addition to the school selections, we invite 2 additional at-large entries per school per category for possible showing.  The 10 best at-large abstracts submitted in each category will be selected to participate in the Expo.    
The completed projects must demonstrate that student(s) went through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge following the Buck Institute of Education PBL model. Projects will be divided into seven categories:
Buck Institute of Education PBL Model

  • Arts, Media & Communications
  • Business, Marketing & Information Technology (IT)
  • Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology
  • Health & Public Service
  • Hospitality & Tourism
  • Science



Rules & Guidelines

Projects can be the work of an individual student or a team of students (two – four students working on a project constitute a team). Projects completed by teams of more than four students are ineligible. Students may only enter one project.


At the Project Expo, all projects exhibited will have two components: a display containing evidence of completion and on-site interviews.
Display - A standard display should consist of one or more panels of information and any objects the student wishes to display within safety guidelines. The exhibit panels must be constructed to be stable and free standing. The maximum size of the table space for the project display is 30 inches wide by 18 inches deep (the distance from front to back) by 36 inches high (from the table). There will be a maximum of 12 inches of floor space allowed in front of the display. For additional resources, visit (TBD). At the MNPS Project Expo, tables will be provided and will not exceed a height of 36 inches. The display will present the following components:
o Each display should be a visual representation of the student work and should include a defense of their findings. Evidence will vary from project to project, but may take the following forms:
- Physical Model 
- Demonstration 
- Resources
- Research and Conclusions
- Video
- Audio Demo 
- Visual Piece -- Pictures, Charts, Diagrams, or Art Work
- Scientific Project Report
- Portfolio
 Any form of evidence to show the final product
o Additionally, all projects must have the following information attached to the exhibit in the upper right hand corner taking up no more than 3 inches x 5 inches:
Name of person(s) responsible for developing the project
- High School
- Name of faculty advisor
- Category
Interviews – each individual or team will be interviewed by a panel of experts o The use of the PBL method of inquiry may be discussed during the on-site interview, but does not need to be part of the display. (Refer to Judges Rubric and Abstract Guidelines)

Project Recognition & Awards

The Metro Project Expo is not a competitive event between students; however, student projects will be evaluated using a common rubric. Projects can receive a maximum of 100 points. Awards will be given using the following criteria:

  • Gold – average score of 95% or greater
  • Silver – average score between 85% and 94%
  • Bronze – average score between 75% and 84%
  • Participation – average score of 74% or less
Business partners will have the opportunity to sponsor the MNPS Project Expo. As a sponsoring partner, businesses will have the opportunity to create special awards and will identify recipients based on their own criteria. A common rubric will not be used for special awards.

How to Register & Apply

Interested students are required to submit an abstract of their project for consideration online. Abstracts will require students to explain their project in terms of the Project Based Learning model. Each abstract will be reviewed and scored by an expert panel. Abstract scores will determine which projects are invited to participate in the Project Expo. The top 10 scoring projects for each category will receive an automatic invitation to participate. Beyond the top 10, all high schools will be invited to showcase their top projects in each category.

Students can register/apply online. A link for these submissions will be sent to the schools by early January. Applications will ask student(s) to select the category, give the project title, provide student information (name, school, etc.), identify a faculty advisor (with advisor e-mail address), indicate whether or not electricity will be needed if invited to participate, and provide a 300 word abstract of the project addressing the following six elements:

  • Describe the problem you addressed or question you investigated and explain how you chose it 
  • Refelect on the sources you used and/or the data you collected (information gathered), including any conflicting information you gathered
  • Describe new content you discovered abd conclusions you drew from the sources used and/or data collected 
  • Explain the decisions you faced, the choices you made, and how you determined them
  • Identify skills you used in working wih others (outside experts and/or project team members) over the course of the project and identify your specific role in the project creation design
  • Describe the feedback you received throughout the project and changes you made based on feedback
The online application process will open on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. Applications are due by 12:00 (noon) on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Students and faculty advisors will be notified of invitation to participate in the MNPS Project Expo by Thursday, February 6, 2014.
Table Layout: 4 projects will be displayed on each 3’x 5’ or 3’ x 6’ table. Each project will be provided a space of 18” x 30” for their table display. Students will be allowed to extend a project to the floor but no further than 12” from the front of the table. Projects should not be higher than 36” above the height of the table.      
Project Expo display 2014

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