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CCE staff and partner reflections on our collaborative work to create schools where learning is engaging and rewarding, and every student is set up for success.

Student Voices Blog Series: Project-based Learning at Garfield Middle School

CCE has been working with Garfield Middle School for three years as part of the Massachusetts Personalized Learning Network. Alongside many implementation priorities for personalized practices has been a commitment to bringing project-based learning to classrooms across the middle school—to provide students with connections to authentic, real-world learning experiences.

I had the opportunity to stop by one of Mr. Horgan’s technology courses this spring and learn from two 7th grade students—Angelina and Samuel—about their experience building digital and 3D models of architecturally sound homes. Check out images of their work below and hear their responses to my inquiries about their perspectives on project-based learning.

A 3D model of Angelina's architecture project.

Angelina's 3D-printed house model

“I designed the blueprint on illustrator, and when I felt confident with what I had done, I got to create the 3D model on Sketchup and then use the 3D printer. This project was different than most I’ve done before because I was the creator from the very beginning and had to make all of my own design decisions. I learned about myself that I have more creativity and artistic instinct than I used to think I did in, say, regular art class… if I could keep going with the project, or make a change, I would definitely want to add a second floor!”

An image of Samuel's digital house design.

Samuel’s Digital Architecture Model

“We’ve been working for about 5 weeks doing a digital design of a house using SketchUp. It’s been really fun to create the blueprint of a house because we got to choose what to put in our house… I thought about houses I’ve seen and the apartment I live in, then asked myself, ‘What would my dream home look like?’ We really only had a few requirements, and the rest is up to us. It’s been helpful to be working for so long because we get to see ideas from our classmates and Mr. Hogan will share his thoughts and ask us questions along the way, too.”

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