At Bridges Elementary School, our 21st century learning environments are guided by the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards and designed to ensure our students are equipped with the skills they need to thrive in the ever-changing workplace. Technological advancements are occurring at a rapid pace, resulting in the potential to cause significant disruption in the job landscape. As a result of the consistent change, our students must be adaptable, resilient, problem solvers, sound decision makers, and creative innovators to compete in a rapidly shifting global society. Through project-based learning (PBL), the Bridges teachers consistently encourage students to think critically, creatively, to collaborate and communicate effectively, and ultimately provide opportunities to apply these skills in the real world.
Our teachers are committed to designing frequent project-based learning opportunities that emphasize real world problems, engage students in inquiry and exploration, and encourage our students to apply what they know in meaningful ways. Research indicates that project-based learning increases student interest in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) because students are engaged in solving authentic problems, while collaborating with others and creating products.
Examples of previous project-based learning opportunities includes:
- Kindergarten- Building compassion through the designing, purchasing, and implementation of “Bobcat Buddy Benches”
- 1st Grade- Preventing or reducing the amount of trash in animal habitats and our community
- 2nd Grade-Providing accurate weather feedback for Bridges community members
- 3rd Grade-Implementing a yearlong initiative to spread kindness
- 4th Grade-Becoming self-sustainable with food from the Bobcat Garden
- 5th Grade-Making our world a better place through a kindness fair
- 6th Grade- Designing a new playground for our campus, and presenting solutions to younger students
Each of the examples above involved students exercising the previously mentioned skills, while finding solutions to real-world problems. Arizona College and Career Ready Standards are infused strategically throughout the PBL process, resulting in content coming to life.
Bridges Elementary School teachers have a variety of innovative technology, resources, and tools at their fingertips, resulting in a variety of unique learning opportunities, and enhancing the elementary learning experience for our students.
Innovative technology and resources used by our teachers and students includes:
- Dedicated Makers’ Place
- 3D Printing
- Virtual Reality
- Green Screen
- Basic Coding