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Project Based Learning Spotlight: Kindness Project

June 8, 2017 | Filed in Archive

Each month, Project Spotlight will focus on a certain aspect of Project Based Learning (PBL). This month we focus on the Kindness Project, and highlight a challenging problem.

Two students sit at a table working.

Students use the Question Formulation Technique to brainstorm questions about the book they read, “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson, during the Kindness Project.

“How can we create more kindness in the world?” That’s the challenge Alaina Campolieta gave students in her English Language Arts class as a part of the ongoing Kindness Project at Ag PTECH. As students read the novel “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson, they worked in teams to design ways to create more kindness in the world. In the book, Mortenson tells his story of being lost in the mountains in Pakistan, and the impact he made in an impoverished village by building 55 schools over 10 years. This story inspired Ag PTECH students to come up with ways to make a difference.

Teams brainstormed things that were meaningful to them and began creating an action plan. They explored questions like: How is this going to create more kindness in society? Who will benefit? What is the budget for this project? What research will we need to perform to succeed? They then submitted a written project plan citing three to five reliable sources to back up their research. Project ideas included food drives, a positive poster campaign, volunteer efforts at assisted living facilities, custodial appreciation days, recycling initiatives, trail clean ups, fundraisers and care package drives for Wounded Warriors, Operation Gratitude, animal shelters, coral reefs and more.

Students then created products or presentations to explain their proposed projects, and their peers voted for which project they wanted to implement. The winning project was a breakfast for local police officers, which students will provide this spring.

As students investigated how they can create more kindness, they gained awareness of the world around them, and tapped into their philanthropic side. Many students will implement other project ideas as they continue to try to make our world a better place.