By: Isabella Vergara
This year, we have a new style of learning than normal. We started out the year in our library’s biography room, where we had limited supplies, and space. After a rather stressful start to the year, we finally got to see our new makerspace.
Everything was new about this year. Ms. Sauter was new to STEM, we have our new makerspace, and we also have a new way of learning. This year, we are working on modules. Our modules help us learn all about all of our pathways; BIomed, Engineering, and Media Tech. So far, we have completed 3 modules, and are working on our fourth this year. About halfway through the year, we will have our Maker-fair, which is a great opportunity to show off the skills that we learned through our modules.
My favorite module so far has been an engineering challenge where we build a bridge out of toothpicks, glue and string. Though this challenge was rather frustrating, I felt as though I actually learned much more than other modules that were less frustrating. Our bridge did not end up as we had planned, however; it was too short in length, too tall in height, and couldn’t support as much weight as what the requirements read. However, we went through the design process to come through to our final product, and we learned the frustrations of being an inventor.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this year’s new setup, although we are still getting used to how it should all work out. For example, many of us are still trying to work out when the due dates are, or sometimes, we have issues with handing projects in, but otherwise, this year has gone smoothly.
I think the idea of project-based learning is playing a big part of this year, and it is making my learning all the more effective. As we learned with Ms. Sauter last year, project-based learning helps us both understand our school curriculum, but it also sets us up for when we work in groups in our jobs.
Although we are less than halfway through the year, I think that the rest of the year will be as successful as PLTW has been since the beginning of the year.