Dr. Christopher Martin is an engineering design teacher at Hillcrest High School in Riverside, California.
Christopher believes that the key to providing both innovative and relevant student education is determined by the willingness of the educator to continually educate themselves, and bring that new knowledge to the classroom. He is a firm believer that Global Learning Communities (GLC) are a key ingredient for teachers seeking to ensure that the learning taking place within their classrooms is innovative and relevant. During the past 21 years, he has continued his own education through GLC’s, industry standard and educational methodology certifications, and through other professional learning communities.
“I enjoy finding ways to make students excited about projects. One strategy you can implement for project-based learning is to connect it to the real world. When I present a project, I turn the groups into a design firm and present the project as if I were the requesting company. I create documents, PowerPoints, and all visuals to give them the feeling of a real-world setting. Then I give them real-world assignments that require them to complete all steps in the design process to be successful. For example, students were tasked with creating a Lego toy set, given a theme, and required to design each brick or part in CAD, assemble in CAD, 3D Print, assemble the physical parts, and finally present to the class for a formal design review. Using this format, I am able to build upon three of the four principles of Powerful Learning. Students are challenged by an authentic project as the focus is a deliverable that can be used within the community by children. Students learn to work as a collaborative team focused on a single outcome. Finally, the design review allows students to receive input and reflect on what they learned during the journey.”
“Reach out out to me if you are interested in learning or discussing ideas on how to improve collaborative work in your classroom and if you are interested in discussing ideas for implementing project-based learning in any classroom setting.”
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