KSU Students Embrace Project Based Learning

KSU Students Embrace Project Based Learning

Posted on May 7, 2024

Education students at Kentucky State University (KSU) had a unique opportunity to test their teaching skills during the recent 4H Ignite Conference. As part of their teaching methods courses, EDU 411 and EDU 423 students led STEM lessons for middle schoolers visiting the campus.

Under the expert guidance of Dr. Ann Lyttle-Burns and Mr. Jonathan Rogers, the students at KSU were able to utilize a Project-Based Learning (PBL) approach. This approach allowed them to develop engaging and rigorous lesson plans that were in line with the Next Generation Science and Math Standards. PBL, with its focus on student ownership of learning, not only deepened their engagement with the material but also honed their essential 21st-century skills.

Reflecting on their experiences, KSU students shared insights and lessons learned. An experience that student Destiny Bennet expressed in her reflection: "During my teaching experience this Friday, I learned a lot of things.  One of the things that stood out to me was how engaged each student was during the STEM Experience.  Overall, this was an amazing opportunity, and I am grateful to have had this experience."

"This Ignite Conference not only made me realize middle schoolers aren't as scary as I thought, haha, but it also made me realize how much preparation is needed for a lesson plan," expressed student Ronneisha Smith, "Though there are many things you can "wing" the day of, the majority should be planned in advance, especially when working with others. My biggest "aha" moment was that not all students will be on the same level therefore you must have a solid medium to base your lesson on.

Kaleb Cunningham highlighted the confidence boost gained from relating content to real-world settings. At the same time, Destiny Bennet noted the high level of student engagement during the STEM activities, "The Ignite Conference gave me the confidence boost I needed to enter the field as an educator. To describe my group, the lesson plan style would have to be structured around the 5E model of instruction, which focuses on student-based learning. We took the content and made it relate to the real-world setting. I'm very thankful for the team I was a part of: Jordan, Dakota, Ani, Armani. We came together. Blessed to have Dr.Burns and Mr.Rogers as guides along the way!"

Travis Faybeeon echoed the sentiment of teamwork and active participation among teaching teams, underscoring the collaborative spirit fostered by the experience," Each teaching team had great teamwork! Everyone participated.  The experience was so much better because everyone was engaged!"

Through hands-on teaching opportunities and innovative approaches like PBL, KSU continues to empower future educators to make a meaningful impact in the classroom.