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9th grade MIT Challenge

By Laura Elizondo

February 28, 2020

During the first days of January, 9th-grade students participated in the MIT challenge. It is a project-based learning (PBL) activity in conjunction with STEAM in which students had to solve a community problem involving social responsibility by creating a prototype that would help someone in need.
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Students had 5 full days to complete the challenge. They were responsible for completing different parts for each of their classes: Chemistry, Language Arts, Civismo, Español, Math, and Technology. Students could choose where and how to work with their groups and scheduled feedback sessions with each of their teachers throughout the week.

At the same time, students worked on a different lense challenge developing compelling images with scientific explanations. 

The challenge culminated with a presentation in the auditorium for teachers and students from other grade levels. Students were able to come up with many exciting new ideas, and many commented on the value of participating in this kind of project. When asked to give feedback about the project, the responses students gave were mostly positive: 

 

“I learned that I am able to create and imagine things, as well as develop them. After 

the whole project, I believe I am able to create innovative ideas that will be able to 

help and reach certain groups. I learned that I am creative and able to put my mind 

on things I want to achieve.”

 

“I thought this was an awesome thing, since we got to manage our time and work 

things out, just like how we need to do when we're older.”

 

“[I learned] That teamwork matters a lot when it comes to ideas and organization and 

that it’s more challenging than it looks like to create something that actually makes 

changes in the lives of others.”

 

“I learned more about time management, given that it was up to you to finish the 

project on time or procrastinate and work on everything at the last minute. It was very 

great getting to know and improve my work ethic as the project progressed. I learned 

that if I work hard enough, plan hard enough, and focus on a project, I will 

successfully finish before it is even due. I learned that concentration and productivity 

is of great importance.”

 

The 9th-Grade team plans to use the feedback provided by students to make improvements to the project and implement it again next year.

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