Grades 9 to 12

This New House (10th-grade math/chemistry)

Guided by essential questions and implemented at High Tech High, a project-based school in Chula Vista, California, this project exposed students to the concept of sustainable architecture and enabled them to try their hands at designing a sustainable home. Students tackled such big questions as how solar energy can heat or cool a home—and how over-development impacts the environment. The write-up includes learning objectives, an overview, activities, reflections, and more, and the project serves as a great example of how to integrate “green” education into project work.

San Diego Bay Field Guide (11th-grade biology/humanities/math)

Also from High Tech High in Chula Vista, California, this project combines curricula learning objectives with service to the community. Students start out by conducting an environmental assessment of the plant-life around San Diego Bay—and end by producing a field guide that combines scientific writing with personal histories, creative writing, photographs, and other visuals. This is a great example not only of integrating math and science with the humanities but also of helping students develop awareness and take action to protect the natural environment.

Drug Movie (10th-grade humanities, chemistry, math, and multi-media)

Another great example from High Tech High that allows students to use technology in purposeful ways, this project involves research in a number of disciplines and offers students a chance to express what they’ve learned in various creative outlets, from formal and informal writing to the production of a short educational video. Also included is a service-learning component in which students raise awareness about drugs across campus.