Here are some examples of projects I have completed with students. I hope they inspire you to implement authentic projects within your own classroom.
Driving Question: What unites us as humans?
Summary: Students are exploring themes of humanity and unity. Students are writing reflective essays answering the driving question. Students are then designing cards to send to family and friends throughout the United States and the world. Students will invite recipients to respond in writing to our driving question.
After exploring humanity from a genetics level, students will interview experts including a biology professor, a sociology professor, and community members from minority organizations. Students will analyze humanity through a social justice lens, exploring how humans have united even when differences (race, religion, political affiliation) try to divide us.
Finally, students will use responses from expert interviews as well as written responses from family and friends to formulate a found poem and corresponding double exposure photo answering the driving question about what unites us as humans.
Using data over time, students estimate when women and people of color will receive equal pay with white men. Advocacy letters and empathy interviews bring authenticity to this project.
The Wage Gap
Assuming the role of a scout for a sports team, students design and implement activities to gather measurable data. After analyzing bivariate data, students present findings determining the ideal athlete.
Promotional items define a business. In this project, students connect with a local business to design and 3D print a mug. Using design thinking, students iterate their mug based on authentic feedback.
Mugs o' Math
Robots are all around us. Using design thinking, students create a robot to serve a helpful purpose in society. Project can be adapted to both MS and HS math standards.
The Future Robot of Today
MS or HS Geometry
Students assume the role of a geneticist at 23 & Me. Using their understanding of genetics and conditional probability, students explain to a potential investor the probability behind a genetics testing kit.