From the Classroom

Spotlight on the Watershed Classroom as an example of Project Based Learning

This week, I had the pleasure of appearing on Buck Institute of Education's (BIE) Virtual Hangout.  The live, on-line presentation was titled, Inquiry and the Real World: The Watershed Classroom, and was an opportunity for me to update educators around the country on the progress of  Petaluma's Watershed Classroom Project.  Led by John Larmer, Editor in Chief of BIE, the presentation focused on the origins of the Watershed Classroom Project and the incredible progress we have been able to make in just two and half years.  I was able to highlight various aspects of the project's website, including the Application Process, Interactive Timeline, Watershed Atlas, Student and Teacher Blogs, and new Assessment Tools.  I was also able to showcase a few of the current high school projects at Casa Grande High School and Petaluma High School, as well as share information about an exciting new project, which is a collaboration between Petaluma High School and McNear Elementary.  Together, students from these two schools will test the water quality in Thompson Creek, the tributary that runs right behind McNear Elementary.  Using the new Water Quality Testing Layer on the Atlas, students will be able to test water quality and upload results from their smart phones right from the field.  -- Eric Backman