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Serra High School 2009-10 GATE Program Summary: Differentiation through Problem-Based Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Serra High School 2009-10 GATE Program Summary: Differentiation through Problem-Based Learning."— Presentation transcript:


2 Serra High School 2009-10 GATE Program Summary: Differentiation through Problem-Based Learning

3 Serra GATE: PBL Table of Contents Explanation of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Problem-Based Learning in AP United States Government and Politics Problem-Based Learning in Adv Geometry Problem-Based Learning in Adv/AP English classes Problem Based Learning in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Biotechnology Problem-Based Learning in AP World History

4 Serra GATE: PBL Explanation of the strategy: The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) has a concise overview of the PBL construct available by clicking here.available by clicking here. Read how IMSA further explores PBL alignment with best practices by clicking clicking here.

5 Serra GATE: PBL Problem Based Learning In AP United States Government and Politics Teacher: John Turner 124 total students served in four sections 57 students identified as GATE or Seminar Turner 1

6 Serra GATE: PBL Part 1: Engagement Students were presented in Unit 3 of AP U.S. Government and Politics with the following ill- structured problem: Party dealignment is a term that refers to the way in which people identify less and less with structured political parties. The result is more independent voters. Why are political parties unable to keep their voting base aligned? In other words, why can’t the parties keep Americans from drifting away from them? Turner 2

7 Serra GATE: PBL Part 2: Investigation and Inquiry Students explored data on the decreasing numbers of Americans registering and voting along party lines. Specific demographic information was analyzed. The inquiry process led students to ask questions of whether party dealignment was more a reflection of ineffectual platform positions taken by major parties or of parties losing their significance in the American political process. Were parties becoming out of touch or out of date? Turner 3

8 Serra GATE: PBL Part 3: Problem Resolution As a product of the learning activity, students created one of two documents. For most students, the outcome was a paper creating a new political party that would connect with American voters in a way in that existing major parties were not. The paper included a mission statement, a 10 plank platform, and demographic support among other criteria. Other students were able to write to the topic of why political party affiliation is an outdated mode of engaging in American politics. Turner 4

9 Serra GATE: PBL Part 4: Debriefing Debriefing of this activity moved beyond discussion of student insights/perspectives and into the next unit of study which was Interest Groups. Once students had background on interest groups, the process cycled into new problem based learning dynamics of asking whether, in the modern era, interest groups offer more to political action than do smaller political parties. Turner 5

10 Problem Based Learning In Advanced Geometry Tonia Brooks Michael Morales Soda Poppin’ Bottles Geometry 1

11 Introduction This webquest addresses California Geometry Content Standards (9 - 12) 8.0 Students know, derive, and solve problems involving the perimeter, circumference, area, volume, lateral area, and surface area of common geometric figures. Students have studied how to calculate the area of various polygons and have been exposed to various three-dimensional figures. In the assignment students are to design a new soda bottle to go with the "Come to the Edge" ad campaign for Coke Edge. They then pitch their idea to the Marketing Coordinator (the teacher) who will decide on one bottle design to put into full production. The goal of this quest is for students to use everything they know about finding surface area, volume, cost and environmental factors to create a unique and exciting new bottle design. Geometry 2

12 Process There is a three step process to completing this webquest: 1.Students research bottle designs, formulas, and materials that could be used to create the bottles 2.Students sketch a possible design they will use 3.Students decide on a bottle design, determine the material to be used, and work on a sales pitch Geometry 3

13 Reflection Students explain how completing this project helped them: o Better understand surface area and volume o Better understand how math fits into our everyday world Geometry 4

14 Student Samples For student sample presentations click on the soda can. Geometry 5 Soda

15 Serra GATE: PBL Problem Based Learning In English Language Arts GATE/Seminar 9th & 10th grade English Teachers: Tami Thoro, Marisa Lutz, Tifanie Clark, Kiana Moyers Hnrs/AP 11th & 12th grade English Teachers: Teachers: Lisa Smith, Linda Nelson, Mike Cawley, Liz Ward English 9/10- 1

16 Serra GATE: PBL Step 1 9th/10th: Students were presented with an article about a “new” animal, and asked to come to a consensus about whether or not it was credible. Original article can be found 11th/12th: Students were presented with an article outlining an ethical & legal dilemmas caused by embryos being implanted for the wrong couple at a fertility clinic. Original article can be found English- 2

17 Step 2 9th/10th: o Student groups were asked to make a list of the reasons that support their conclusion, and then to rank them in order of the strength of their support. o Students were asked to make another list of the things the group would like to review/learn more about that might help them feel more confident about their conclusion. 11th/12th: o Students were asked to discuss what research needs to be done by their group in order to determine whose embryos “belonged” to which parents; they anticipated how/where to find the necessary information to sort out the problem. English- 3

18 Serra GATE: PBL Student work samples demonstrating group debate/consensus on the issue English- 4

19 Serra GATE: PBL Debriefing English- 5 These problems are intended to facilitate discussion and stimulate cooperation in thought processes. It is followed by additional activities to promote mastery of concepts addressed in the problem. In 9th/10th. students were eager to find out the “real” answer, and some researched it at home before the class debriefed. Overall, students enjoyed the opportunity to consider real-life solutions to a real-life issue.

20 Problem Based Learning Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Biotechnology Mr. Charles Scott Miss Diane Gerry Miss Sarah Schindler Mrs. Ericka Senegar

21 Participants in PBL Activity AP Biology (2 Sections) Advanced Biology (4 Sections) AP Chemistry (1 Section) Honors Chemistry (3 Sections) AP Environmental Science (5 Sections) Biotechnology (1 Section)

22 PBL Activity The PBL activity consisted of a laboratory experiment entitled: “How Green is My Orange:Comparison of Essential Oil Extraction Methods”

23 Educational Goal To understand chemical, steam and CO2 extraction methods, and their relationship to green industrial chemistry and biotechnology practices.

24 Students Completed the Following Activities Study “green chemistry” and oil extraction processes Extract the essential oil d-limonene from orange peel rind using steam disstillation and supercritical CO2 methods Analyze the differences between the two methods Make connections between classroom lab activities and industrial chemical processes

25 Student Outcomes Students will be able to... Extract essential oils from oranges using steam distillation Extract essential oils from oranges using supercritical CO2 Compute the use of energy in both extractions Compare the use of energy in both extractions Compare the use of hazardous chemicals in both extractions Explain the phase changes of CO2 Create and evaluate the chemical structures of hazardous waste

26 Student Reflection Environmental and safety advantages of using CO2 as a “green” alternative solvent

27 PBL Activity in AP World History Teacher: Harlan Bleecker Students: 101 students in 3 sections of AP World History INTRODUCTION: Classroom discussion regarding problems faced by the U.S. in today’s world. Drawing from this discussion, students were asked to select a generic problem faced by a civilization, nation, or culture in the past and investigate how that problem was addressed by two civilizations, nations, or cultures in the past. OUTCOME: Students were to: a. Present a generic problem faced by a civilization, culture, or nation b. Investigate how two different civilizations, cultures, or nations (or a civilization, culture, or nation in two different time periods) addressed the presented problem c. Evaluate the effectiveness of the course of action undertaken by the selected civilizations, nations, or cultures in addressing the presented problem.

28 Examples of Problems/Civilizations Investigated by Students: Problem of foreign influence -Han China/Tokugawa Japan -Byzantine Empire/Russia (early 1900s) Problem of disease/epidemics -Europe (1300s)/China (1900s) Problem of unequal status of women -Ancient Greece/Han China -U.S. (1800s)/Britain (1800s) Problem of invasion by foreign power -China (1300s)/Maya -China (200 B.C.E.)/Korea (1200s) -Han China/Roman Empire Problem of bad sanitation -Britain (1850s)/India (1850s)--see attached student slide

29 How did societies in the 1850’s deal with Bad Sanitation? Amy Trinh Period 4 World History

30 The End For questions or comments regarding Serra’s GATE program, please contact Marisa Lutz at or Cecile Nedellec at

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