Project-Based Learning through Collaboratories

This year’s Junior High Collaboratories are off to a fun and exciting start! Over the past few weeks, Mrs. Peterson’s Collaboratory went to New Horizons and delivered 800 items they collected for homeless youth, Mr. Kyler and Ms. Adams Collaboratory offered fresh veggies from their gardens to school faculty, and Mrs. Lindblad’s Collaboratory was visited by our very own Alvin Little to discuss self-defense.

Check out some of the amazing Collaboratories the Junior High has to offer!

Hunger expedition – growing food to meet the needs of the community.

Mr. Kyler and Ms. Adams’ Collaboratory asks the question, “How can we use our garden to serve the needs of our community?” Students will be building more raised beds to further our relationship with the CRISTA retirement community. They will also be learning more about Hydroponics this year.

Press Play – Innovation and coding

Mr. Teeter’s Collaboratory asks the question, “How can I use troubleshooting, computational thinking & coding to add value to my life as a teenager today?” In this Collaboratory, students create their own arcade system using a tiny computer called a “Raspberry Pi”.  They use power tools along with software (RetroPi, Photoshop, etc.) to create an amazing, professional-looking, and finished product out of a plastic box.

District 13 – Learning about ourselves and society from the dystopian world

Mrs. Chew and Mrs. Haslam’s Collaboratory focuses on the question, “What can we learn from ourselves and our society from dystopian worlds?” In this Collaboratory, students present on a dystopian novel they read and they learn how to use the website Pixton to create their own dystopian graphic novel.

Things you don’t learn in School – hundreds of clever things to know

In Mr. Kirkham’s Collaboratory, every day is its own one-day lesson. So far, students have practiced juggling, tried solving Rubik’s Cubes, taken Myers-Briggs-style personality tests, created various origami designs using dollar bills, and learned how to properly throw a Frisbee backhand and forehand.

Cyperwise – responsible digital citizenship

Mr. Wright’s Collaboratory focuses on Digital Citizenship. The students are developing a plan on how we can improve our Digital Citizenship and online safety. They will research by using Blogs, Surveys, Interviews, and Research of other plans at schools. Their main objective is to compile all of that information into their own plan and to create a Documentary film to express their findings.

Hidden in Plain Sight – Teen homelessness

In Mrs. Peterson’s Collaboratory, the driving question is “What can we do about youth homelessness and is there an action project that can raise awareness?” As homelessness is such an important issue in our state and particularly Seattle, the objective of this Collaboratory is for students to look specifically into youth who are homeless and research how they’ve become homeless, where can they get help, and what is being done to stop future youth from becoming homeless.

Other Collaboratories offered this year are “Who Am I – Family Heritage” taught by Mrs. Yakovich, “Around the World – Creative Vacations” with Ms. Kemper, “Equate to Create – Real-World Math” with Mr. McCardle, and “Survivor – CPR/First Aid” taught by Mrs. Lindblad.