Since 2015, we have been conducting projects to promote project-based learning in K-12 math and science education. We have organized several training workshops for West Virginia middle school and high school teachers on project-based learning, and many of the teachers have incorporated science/engineering projects into their math/science teaching. Almost every teacher observed significant improvement of students’ performance after the implementation of project-based learning. Since 2017 we are also designing after school program on project based learning.
After School Programs designed around PBL in STEM in Raleigh County
Our latest project is developing an after school program for an entire county designed around Project Based Learning (PBL). Currently for this project we are working with three middle schools (i.e., Beckley Stratton Middle School, Park Middle School, and Independence Middle School) at Raleigh County West Virginia. From our experience in previous years we have learned that due to time limitation it is challenging for the teachers to include additional activities during their class time. With this project the teachers will not only be able to allocate more time and effort, we will be able to see the impact of this project as they will work with the progression of same group of students from middle schools to high schools. The projects implemented during the after school include STEM integration, coding and Robotics. All participating teachers receive professional development during summer at WVU Beckley campus to receive the skills, knowledge, and experiences necessary to succeed in to this effort. All these projects are developed and facilitated by WVU Beckley campus. Our current WVU STEM students work with the Raleigh County teachers during the after school hours. The after school program is free.