One of my greatest joys, and my AP students' worst fears, is the quarterly project. At the beginning of each quarter I assign all of my AP classes some sort of big project that they are to complete throughout the course of the 9 weeks. Generally they get the chance to present their work once everyone has finished.
Admittedly, the projects can be hard on students. The triumph and work that comes out on the other side, though, is incredible. If I take a moment and reflect on the projects I have received from students over the course of my 5 years teaching, all of my favorites and all of the ones that have shocked me have come from my AP classes. Those classes are truly a testament to the benefits of project based learning for high-flying students.
This AP Bio class is no different. 7 weeks ago I assigned them the task of choosing a genetic disorder, researching it, and producing some sort of public awareness campaign. I'd given this project in some form or the other for the past couple of years, so this time I added a twist. You see, awareness campaigns aren't really awareness campaigns unless they are seen by the public. To that end, each team had to prove to me that their campaign had been seen by at least 100 people. I love the real-world challenge this added to the project. It was fun to see students strategize about how the were going to get their views. In retrospect, the age of social media makes 100 views a bar too low.
At this point, I will stop rambling and get out of the way. The work produced by the students was so impressive that everyone should have the chance to enjoy it. Below are several of the products that were produced.
Cystic Fibrosis - Jarrett Bumidang, Thomas Morehead, Auon Syed, Justin Quimbo
Cri du Chat - By Iris Sullivan and Amayrani Calvario
Bloom's Syndrome - Abigail Williams and Suleima Reyes
Synesthesia - Shiyan Shoyoye, Yaa Ofori Marfoh, and Kaliah McGirt. I would also recommend checking out their website.
Sickle Cell Disease - Alana Lee, Toni Madugu, and Autumn Brown. Not only did these girls produce this video, they launched a web campaign, AND made a 3-hour documentary to boot (still trying to find a way to get it online.