Our Commitment to You
Having learners connect powerfully to themselves, their academic work, people around them, or the Earth takes quality planning and communication. We’ve spent 4 years building resources to simplify project-based learning for learners and educators in grades 6 and up. The resources are customizable to work within existing programs or to provide structures as necessary. And this fall and winter they’re available to you (along with advising support, if requested) at no charge. This video provides a glimpse of how that looks with community engagement projects:
Situations we can support
- Credit restoration
- Independent studies
- Service requirements
- Planned service projects
- Class projects that could incorporate service
What we’re asking in return:
- Connections with educators, administrators, guidance counselors, parents, social workers, or others who might benefit from our resources
- Opportunities to employ our resources in different settings
Our project resources and presentations are designed to meet a variety of current education standards/learning results. Below is an example of a recommended community engagement project goal (category: career development), followed by learning results addressed in the process of meeting it. We can provide a full chart showing overlap between 30 possible project goals and learning results. Educators can thus start with one or more learning results to address and build from there.
Project goal example:
Design or manage a project by planning, prioritizing tasks, structuring time, and staying organized in order to meet objectives
21st Century Skills expand
Communication and Collaboration
- Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
- Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions
- Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade)
- Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to judge their effectiveness a priori as well as assess their impact
- Communicate effectively in diverse environments (including multi-lingual)
Creativity and Innovation
Work Creatively with Others
- Develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively
- Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
- Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real world limits to adopting new ideas
- View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes
- Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Use various types of reasoning (inductive, deductive, etc.) as appropriate to the situation
Use Systems Thinking
- Analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems
Make Judgments and Decisions
- Effectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs
- Analyze and evaluate major alternative points of view
- Synthesize and make connections between information and arguments
- Interpret information and draw conclusions based on the best analysis
- Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes
- Solve different kinds of non-familiar problems in both conventional and innovative ways
- Identify and ask significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions
Maine’s Guiding Principles expand
A Clear and Effective Communicator who:
- Demonstrates organized and purposeful communication in English and at least one other language. (the latter for projects involving a foreign language component)
- Uses evidence and logic appropriately in communication.
- Adjusts communication based on the audience.
- Uses a variety of modes of expression (spoken, written, and visual and performing including the use of technology to create and share the expressions).
A Self-Directed and Lifelong Learner who:
- Recognizes the need for information and locates and evaluates resources.
- Applies knowledge to set goals and make informed decisions.
- Applies knowledge in new contexts.
- Demonstrates initiative and independence.
- Demonstrates flexibility including the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
- Demonstrates reliability and concern for quality.
- Uses interpersonal skills to learn and work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
A Creative and Practical Problem Solver who:
- Observes and evaluates situations to define problems.
- Frames questions, makes predictions, and designs data/information collection and analysis strategies.
- Identifies patterns, trends, and relationships that apply to solutions.
- Generates a variety of solutions, builds a case for a best response and critically evaluates the effectiveness of the response.
- Sees opportunities, finds resources, and seeks results.
- Uses information and technology to solve problems.
- Perseveres in challenging situations.
A Responsible and Involved Citizen who:
- Participates positively in the community and designs creative solutions to meet human needs and wants.
- Accepts responsibility for personal decisions and actions.
- Demonstrates ethical behavior and the moral courage to sustain it.
An Integrative and Informed Thinker who:
- Gains and applies knowledge across disciplines and learning contexts and to real life situations with and without technology.
- Evaluates and synthesizes information from multiple sources.
- Applies ideas across disciplines.
- Applies systems thinking to understand the interaction and influence of related parts on each other and on outcomes.
Maine Learning Results expand
Guiding Principles Standards:
- A. A Clear and Effective Communicator who: Standard A: Understands the attributes and techniques that positively impact constructing and conveying meaning for a variety of purposes and through a variety of modes.
- B. A Self-Directed and Lifelong Learner who: Standard B: Understands the importance of embracing and nurturing a growth mindset.
- C. A Creative and Practical Problem Solver who: Standard C: Is skilled at selecting and applying a process of problem-solving to deepen understanding and determine whether redefining the goal is a better way of addressing a problem situation and continuing to consider other alternative solutions until one resonates as the best one.
- D. A Responsible and Involved Citizen who: Standard D: Understands the interdependence within and across systems and brings to each situation the appropriate actions.
- E. An Integrative and Informed Thinker who: Standard E: Is skilled at using complex reasoning processes to make meaning.
Career and Education Development
- CED.A4.6-8 Students develop and demonstrate positive strategies that aid in accomplishing tasks, creating balance among their career and life roles, and reducing stress.
- CED.A4.9-D Students demonstrate and evaluate successful strategies for accomplishing tasks, balancing career and life roles, and reducing stress in a variety of school, work, and community settings.
- CED.B2.6-8 Students analyze their skills in relation to those that lead to learning and success in the classroom, and the achievement of schoolwork, career, and personal life goals.
- CED.B2.9-D Students evaluate strategies to improve skills that lead to lifelong learning and success in the classroom, and the achievement of schoolwork, work and career, and personal life goals.
- CED.C1.6-8 Students explain how the parts of the planning process assist in the exploration of education and work opportunities, and serve as tools for setting short-term and long-term goals.
- CED.C1.9-D Students use the planning process to make school-to-school and school-to-work decisions.
- CED.C2.6-8 Students compare and apply different models for decision-making including the rational, intuitive, and consultative models for setting short-term and long-term goals in career and education.
- CED.C2.9-D Students determine and apply effective decision-making strategies for accomplishing short-term and long-term goals related to school-to-school and school-to-work decisions.
- W+.7 Complete both short and in-depth research projects. Show understanding by answering a question or otherwise addressing a topic with multiple sources.
- RH.3 H: Analyze the presentation of a process or series of events. Consider correlation or causation between them and note areas of uncertainty.
- RST.3 ST: Precisely follow a multi-step procedure to perform an experiment or other task.
- A2.6-8 Students make individual and collaborative decisions on matters related to social studies using relevant information and research and discussion skills.
- A2.9-D Students make individual and collaborative decisions (real or simulated and related to the classroom, school, community, civic organization, Maine, United States, or international entity) related to social studies using relevant information and research, discussion, and ethical reasoning skills.
- A3.6-8 Students select, plan, and implement a civic action or service-learning project based on a school, community, or state asset or need, and analyze the project’s effectiveness and civic contribution.
- A3.9-D Students select, plan, and implement a civic action or service-learning project based on a community, school, state, national, or international asset or need, and evaluate the project’s effectiveness and civic contribution.
Science and Technology
- B2.6-8 Students use a systematic process, tools, equipment, and a variety of materials to design and produce a solution or product to meet a specified need, using established criteria.
- B2.9-D Students use a systematic process, tools and techniques, and a variety of materials to design and produce a solution or product that meets new needs or improves existing designs.
- C1.6-8 Students describe how scientists use varied and systematic approaches to investigations (e.g., identifying and controlling for variables) that may lead to further investigations.
- C1.9-D Students describe key aspects of scientific investigations: that they are guided by scientific principles and knowledge, that they are performed to test ideas, and that they are communicated and defended publicly.
Next Gen Science Standards expand
Earth Space Science
- HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
- HS-LS4-6 Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
Engineering and Technology
- HS-ETS1-4 Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.