Project Based Learning

 Project-based Learning (PBL) at Mapleton High School

Written by Toni Garcia, Arista Bernhardt, Abbi Galvan & Courtney Stone

At Mapleton High School when it hits 2:38, Students start to arrive in their designated PBL class to work on their passion projects.. Words are being exchanged, interest is being sparked and PBL class is starting.

PBL stands for Project Based Learning, which is a “teaching method where students engage actively in real-world and personally meaningful projects”. PBL is different from the rest of the class day because assignments are more flexible and students get to work on topics they’re personally interested in. This is the first year Mapleton High School District is doing Project Based Learning or anything of the sort.

There are a total of seven P.B.L’s that Mapleton offers – culinary, business, media, gardening, construction, sustainability, and electronics. Each of these P.B.L. groups consist of a mix of students in grades 7 through 12 and focus on a variety of projects. 

Culinary – In the culinary P.B.L students are working on their passion projects, which are pieces of work that students want to participate in because they enjoy that certain thing. For their passion projects they have decided to cook something of their choice. Culinary has done a lot for not only the members of the P.B.L but for the Mapleton community as well. They have made a bunch of appetizers for the SFORZA fair for the community to eat and have gotten many good reviews and comments on what they have done so far. They also created beautiful charcuterie bouquets for a recent Spring Dance. Sophomore Averie Walker said,  “I’ve cooked since I was 3 and I think it is a good way to share with the class about my cooking experience.” 

Construction – The construction P.B.L has helped support people without homes by making a tiny home and giving it to the nonprofit SquareOne Village in Eugene, where other services are provided to help homeless people get back on their feet. This P.B.L is currently working on building 2 more tiny houses. One of these tiny houses will be going to the Swisshome Church and the other one will be going somewhere around our community.

Business – The business P.B.L is one of the P.B.L’s that are focusing on a specific thing and keep adding more and more to it. The goal that this P.B.L is trying to achieve is selling t-shirts for students and staff but eventually selling merch for the community. So far this P.B.L has created business plans to sell the merch and they are already selling vintage uniforms.

Electronics – The electronics P.B.L has done a lot of projects since the beginning of the year. This P.B.L is currently working on soldering integrated circuit boards, building lego robots, coding, and building actual circuits. The electronics PBL has already used 3D CAD programs to design and 3D print useful items. 

Sustainability – Sustainability has been recycling everyday since the beginning of the year and have requested new bottle drop bins for the highschool .  It is a new resource they have implemented for students to drop off their cans and bottles where they can be recycled and be able to receive money. The money gets used for student athletics, mostly for elementary student extracurricular activities, where they used funds to purchase new jerseys for the middle school team and used the former middle school jerseys to give to the elementary school.

Gardening –  The gardening P.B.L has done many great things for the Mapleton school district. What this P.B.L has already done is growing the plants in the gardening room over at the watershed building. They were also getting the plants acclimated for the outside world. Now currently they are transplanting all the plants and planting more plants. 

Ways to Get Involved – Since project-based learning is focused on students working towards projects we personally care about, there are a lot of ways that you can help support us! If you are passionate about any of the seven areas, feel free to sign up below as a “Mapleton Mentor” and let us know what types of skills or hobbies you can share! As teachers or students come across that need or are looking for new ideas, we will contact you to see if you’re interested in mentoring us through a project.