Metro Schools students showcase creativity and critical thinking at PBL Expo

P1080437.jpg After reading The Great Kapok Tree, a group of students at Glenn Elementary wanted to know more about the animals from the story. They went to the computer lab to research the animals and made a food chain using paper links to show the animals' relationships.

Students from across the district created projects like these for this year's Project-Based Learning Expo on March 13-15 at Trevecca University. The expo gave elementary, middle and high school students the opportunity to take the skills they are learning in the classroom and apply them to a project to present to a public audience.

Students collaborated with their classmates to select a topic, complete research and create a presentation to showcase to a series of judges. The projects covered a variety of topics including art, business, engineering, health and tourism.


In addition to uncovering new content knowledge through these projects, students also developed their skills in creativity, communication and critical thinking.

"Sometimes when we're doing work in class, it feels like there's not really an end goal," said Olivia Zavitson, a senior at Hillsboro High School whose project was about body image. "You feel like, 'How am I going to connect this to when I'm an adult?' Doing projects like this that you're interested in and gain independence from are important because you learn self-motivating skills."


Some students even have plans to continue working on their projects after the expo is over.

"I want to do this every year, said Alexa Honigsblum, a 9th grader at Hillwood High School who created a fundraiser for animal shelters. "My final goal is by my senior year to make this a school-wide thing so all grades can contribute to it."

For PBL Expo results, click here.