Collaborative PBL between English 11 and Physics classes begin Juniors expected to create a research essay on science

As students listen, Physics teacher Patrick Waddington explains what worksheet the class will be doing on Jan. 24, 2018. Students in English 11 and Physics started their group PBL on Tuesday, and it will continue until the week after Spring Break. “This [PBL] seems really interesting and fun,” junior Yen Binh Tran said. “My topic is on birds and rice, and I plan on using by cockatoo in the project.” Photo Credit: Zhen Yu

Juniors in Mr. Robert Davis’ English class and Mr. Partick Waddington’s physics class are beginning a new collaborative PBL. While the focus of the lab is the same as last year’s PBL, this project focuses on the research portion of science and how to present that information to everyone.

“My number one expectation for my class is to find their own process,” Davis said. “They will meet with me daily, tell me what their goal is and I just give them feedback, they’re defining the steps they’re going through. It’s a really self guided process for them which I think is a really good idea for fourth quarter juniors.”

For the physics portion of the project, students will be given a list of misunderstandings in the science community and identify what’s right or wrong in the scenario. They will then create a video explaining their subject area’s misconception. Students in Davis are expected to create a research paper that presents their information to an audience that has no science background.

“I hope that I can take advantage of this project and use it later on in life,” junior Naftaly Uscanga said. “I want to see how English and Physics can go together and learn them both at the same time.”

Students will have a total of two weeks of class time to work on the project; however, they are able to work on it over the weekend and during Spring Break, if they choose. The video and all information will be presented to their physics class and the essay will be turned in.

“This project is kind of like Mythbusters meets Bill Nye the Science Guy, trying to make the project entertaining and be able to communicate,” Waddington said. “I hope that my students learn how to talk to the general public about science and not just ‘there’s a formula and this is how I know it.’ I find that students are more successful when they can bring their own interpretations to the material.”

After looking over the feedback from the project last year, Waddington and Davis made some changes to how much time the students would have to work on it and what the workload consisted of.

“My expectations for this project is that it will be interesting as physics and english are extremely different from each other,” junior Aubrianna Coddington said. “I’m excited to see how it will go. Mr. Davis always keeps us on our toes so I think it will be fun and eventful.”

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