visalia – Each day, students in Sundale Union School’s agriculture program handle many of the same responsibilities local agribusiness owners do. Animals are fed, gardens are watered and weeded, and crops are harvested. In addition to these responsibilities, the students help manage the Trading Post, an on-site store where customers can order a latte or pick up dozens of locally-sourced gift items and products – from chocolate and honey to nuts, milk and eggs.
The Sundale ag program is a thriving example of Project Based Learning (PBL) and one that will be showcased at the fourth annual A Night at the 21st Century Museum event May 2 at the Visalia Convention Center. The event, which showcases fine examples of PBL with an emphasis on the development of the 21st century learning skills (critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, character and citizenship), will feature over 60 projects from elementary, middle and high school students. Some of the projects to be featured this year include robotics exhibitions, business projects, and agricultural and engineering projects completed by students in elementary, middle and high school. Area Linked Learning Academies will be presenting their projects, including an INTERNNECT architectural design project. In addition, two new features have been added: a makerspace for attendees to use in creating projects out of ordinary items and a “poetry slam” space for high school students to present their original works.
“What makes this event unique is that it celebrates students using college and career ready skills in meaningful ways.” said Dr. Jen Francone, PBL staff development and curriculum specialist. “Students are applying these skills to projects that take them beyond the classroom walls and that open their eyes to the world that awaits them after high school. We are also celebrating industry partners who help to provide opportunities and feedback to students through work based learning experiences.”
A Night at the 21st Century Museum, which is open to the public, will be held May 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. “We are proud to present A Night at the 21st Century Museum to the community again this year and continue to showcase the extraordinary 21st century learning our students are doing through PBL,” said Dr. Francone. For more information on the event, call (559) 651-0562.