Students in Mr. Hamm’s Language Arts classroom at Riverside Intermediate were learning about non-fiction reading strategies when a Problem Based Learning (PBL) opportunity presented itself following the reading of one specific text. An article about the benefits of adjusting school start times for teenage students sparked a discussion on why Hamilton Southeastern Schools is fighting mother-nature. The discussion led to a PBL experience for the students entitled School Start Times in HSE.
Students were put into collaborative groups tasked with the problem, “How do we better serve the students of HSE based on scientific research regarding school start times?” After a few weeks of working, students were required to present their research and solution to their peers. While all groups did a fantastic job, two specific groups stood out and were allowed to collaborate toward a final presentation that was made to the HSE School Board in May 2015. The students used their digital tools to develop a presentation that impressed the school board members. While there is no guarantee that times will be changing for the students in HSE, the process students used were focused on the goals of HSE21.