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Middle School Students take learning leadership in their study of Water – January 9, 2019

From mid-October through December, the HMS Middle School used Project Based Learning (PBL) to study multiple angles of a valuable resource—-water. Student investment and choice in learning are important parts of PBL. It might make teachers a bit nervous at times to give some control to students and take more of a guidance role, but HMS students clearly benefit from this process.

The PBL series kick-off included a water-carrying exercise, taste-testing samples of water from various sources, and hearing International Volunteer teacher Mr. Talento Bempo’s stories of water issues in Mozambique.

During the Thursday afternoon club time, students met in research groups where they could dig into various topics led by different teachers:

  • Water & the arts
  • Aquatic life 
  • A Long Walk to Water book club 
  • Local & global water issues 
  • Nutrition of water 
  • Living water of Jesus 
  • Natural disasters and weather 

Each group completed a project based on their research and the students’ choices, and the results were wide-ranging, including a promotion for “No Straw Wednesdays” to reduce plastic waste harmful to marine animals, testing pH levels in water, building models to simulate locks and floods, devising a device to help fourth graders with their stream study, and designing gospel-centered water bottles for community distribution. Another highlight of the water study was the middle school field trip to the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay in Havre de Grace, Maryland on November 20. 

The PBL series is one way that HMS inspires curiosity and opens the door for the students to take ownership in their learning. We as teachers get to be a part of the journey and see how students will carry out their God-given gifts and purposes.

from Jeremy Horning, Middle School Coordinator