Cross posted on Creative Tension
I just happened to read Bob Lenz’s post entitled Project Learning Creates a Win-Win Situation on Edutopia and at the end he poses the question, How has project learning revolutionized your classroom or school? This weekend our school is hosted the 6th Annual Malaysian Model United Nations and our campus was buzzing with excitement. Our high school Model United Nations club organizes this event for 250 middle school students. After last year’s conference THIMUN recognized it as an officially affiliated event. While the thousands of hours of preparation drains our advisors and students, the final event gives our entire school community a boost. Every year we are amazed by the high quality of the work that the students do to create a first class event for 250 customers. The educational experience of attending a MUN conference is far different than the experience a student gets from actually organizing and a conference and it’s almost impossible to create in a class. A sample of tasks includes:
Promoting the event through the website
Fielding queries from perspective directors
Processing payments from delegates
Providing participants with assignments and resources in advance
Arranging for a guest speaker and entertainment for the opening ceremony
Arranging transportation from airport to hotel, hotel to school, etc.
Recruiting and preparing committee chairs from our school and other schools
Troubleshooting for a variety of reasons
Running the actual conference
Producing the daily newspaper and conference video
For our school, this is the greatest project based learning project that we offer and there were approximately 150 students involved in organizing the event. On Monday those 150 students will be tired and worn out but they will all have smiles on their faces. We will all celebrate their accomplishments and the authentic learning that occurred. These successes will only help us move forward toward our vision.
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