What Project Based Learning is Doing for Students at Oskaloosa High School

Iowa’s Oskaloosa High School (OHS) hosted their first ever Project Based Learning Showcase in March.  To see this form of learning presented in such a grand fashion is exciting. This isn’t your old-fashioned science fair!

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The public was invited to see demonstrations of projects that the students worked on throughout the year.  This included real-time cooking, television newscasts, and even a Shark Tank-style panel by the business students. Students at OHS engage in PBL throughout the year in a variety of projects ranging from robot design to staging fashion shows.

Oskaloosa school district PBL instructor Molly Sterner provides great perspective on this form of learning: “[The kids] guide their own research, they ask their own questions as follow-ups to those questions, and one student’s outcome might be different than another student’s outcome.  And that’s okay.”

That’s the key – PBL provides a space where a diverse set of answers is actually encouraged, and this allows students to immerse themselves into the learning process.  In turn, students can own their learning and develop a variety of solutions reflective of their interests, personalities, experiences, and more.  As we see with the PBL Showcase, students are excited to show what they’ve learned when they feel ownership of that learning.

Great work by Oskaloosa High!