Project-Based Learning with the Louisville Water Company
Sixth year TKY teacher Aubrey Holle is a Centre College graduate who teaches science and coaches women’s basketball at Western High School. She is one of our two Louisville Water Company fellows this year. Read about her planning process with the LWC’s educators to bring water-based programing to her science classes!
Over the past several months, I have been working with the Louisville Water Company’s educator, Channa Newman, to plan a real-world Project Based Learning (PBL) unit focused on what makes Louisville water award-winning.
PBL type activities and science are a perfect match. Science, particularly under the new Next Generation Science Standards, is a subject where students can learn other skills besides science content. PBL activities force students into honing these softer skills like problem solving, collaboration, data analysis, creativity and drawing conclusions. They are also a huge focus of our school district, Jefferson County Public Schools.
At this point, my experience with LWC has been purely on the planning side, and that has been great. Tying together the standards with existing and new LWC programming has been seamless.
The basic idea for this collaborative PBL stemmed from a professional development that I attended this summer, and has grown into a hands-on, data analysis driven project. The plan as of now involves LWC educators showing students about the incredible properties of water through H2Olympics, basic filtration and treatment processes, and an insider look at the lab techniques involved in ensuring our water is safe.
Western High School is one of the JCPS high schools falling under the Academy Model. In the new Academy model, schools are looking to create community and business partnerships to allow our students insider access to potential careers in our community. The Louisville Water Company partnership is a great relationship for Western to have, as students will not only be learning about a vital element of their lives, but also the organization and employment opportunities involved in the process.