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Doing an after-school program for middle-school students:



Project Busters






Get students excited about learning (life-long learners).

Have the reasoning skills to manage in today’s society and begin to build a set of skills to use in multiple careers.

Understand that problems are opportunities.  The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity.

Have students better prepared for college or a career.





 Program (PBL)

Professional Development (PD)
Copy Documents Daily feedback sheet, Plus class handout( day below)
Class Handouts

Distributed at the end of the class

Day1 Day2 Day3
Day4 Day5 Day6
Day7 Day8 Day9
 Program Overview File

          Student Plan

The basic project for the students:

The learning can be broken into five major parts

1.0  Ice Breaker ...   Marshmallow project (Begin our thoughts on the problem to be solved)

Brain Plasticity (Mindset)

2.0 Forming teams and setting community values, norms
3.0 a) Picking a project ...  b)  Requirements & Measurements
4.0 Problem solving process...  another design process  Circular design
5.0 Public reporting and feedback

·   ``


Project data:

 Overview slides File (PDF)
Schedule overview

Approximately 10 one hour sessions

Role of the facilitator


Emphasis on building learning skills by facilitating meta-cognitive questions during the process

The definition of facilitate is "to make easy" or "ease a process." What a facilitator does is plan, guide, provide feedback and manage a group event to ensure that the group's objectives are met effectively, with clear thinking, good participation and full buy-in from everyone who is involved.

Tenets of the organization File
Outcomes & Uniqueness's File
Day plans

Daily feedback sheets


General feedback sheet

Day1 Day 2 Day3 Day 4
Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8
Day 9 Day 10    
Simple projects that can be accomplished as a group while learning skills



Tools/Quick notes:

Web site for links to Life-Skills descriptions Link
People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.

   Vince Lombardi

Team members questions to themselves What do I bring to the team? 2. What are our commitments to one another? 3. What differences exist between us? 4. How will we operate? 5. How will we know we are succeeding?
Improv File
Assessment/Rubrics File
Questions & learning File
Project framing File
Picking the problem File
Planning & schedule File  Getting set-up to do the project
Elevator pitch File    Short presentation of key items that you did
Mapping File   Information gathering plus how they are connected
Learning Process File

Brain Plasticity


Thinking skills

Creative thinking

Critical thinking
Meta-cognitive thinking
Reflection (feedback)


File  Maintain the state of doubt and to carry on systematic and protracted inquiry --- these are the essentials of thinking



Learning targets File Learning targets are short term goals or statements
Self-Reflection of the project File
Preparing for the presentation check-sheet File
Scamper File   Coming up with ways to find new ideas
Links from home page of Project Academy


the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual


Interesting web sites;

Did you know? Today's learners will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38
TED talk Ken Robinson
TED talk Benefits of self-directed learning ... Motivation
TED talk Carol Dweck     ...Your Mindset
New Tech Network At New Tech Network, our partnerships with schools drive everything we do. Together we are transforming teaching and learning around the country. Our shared vision for student success – college and career readiness for all students – has a very specific meaning in the Network. 

21st Century Learning


TED talk Tony Robins .. What shapes you; You define who you are; Need rituals to make things happen.
MIT- Solving World Problems

Solve at MIT:

An annual flagship two-day meeting on MIT’s campus. A small number of challenges are explored in small-group interactive sessions focused on a single challenge, moderated by experts who can facilitate the problem-solving process. 

Next Solve at MIT: Spring 2017 


Ghana think tank Ghana ThinkTank’s innovative approach to public art reveals blind spots between otherwise disconnected cultures, challenges assumptions about who is “needy,” and turns the idea of expertise on its head by asking people in the “third world” to solve problems of people in the “first world.” This process helps people overcome their own stereotypes while being exposed to the stereotypes that other cultures have about them.
Service learning To create a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world with young people, their schools, and their communities through service-learning

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