Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a keystone of our CMA mission. PBL’s offer students the chance to learn their core curriculum and gain a deeper understanding of our career pathways through hands-on projects that require them to think critically and creatively.

Our freshmen scholars spend every Wednesday morning of their freshman year learning about each of our four career pathways. They spend five weeks exploring each pathway prior to choosing their pathway of focus in February.

Our sophomores spend every Wednesday morning of their sophomore year learning about their chosen pathway of focus and working on an extended PBL. Below is a sampling of some of the PBL’s we have going on around campus–just the ones I’ve found time to get some photos of during this whirlwind of a semester 😉

Mr. Anderson (Language Arts/Theater) and Mrs. Crowe (Math) have been introducing our freshmen scholars to advanced manufacturing by having them mass produce food items in teams, finding the most efficient ways to cut down on waste, maximize team efficiency, and create a quality product.

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Mrs. Shinlever has been working with Beardsley Farms to teach her students about carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids by having them identify foods at Beardsley Farms that provide essential nutrition and then creating healthy recipes that utilize those foods. The students’ recipes will be consolidated into a recipe book that will be donated to Beardsley Farms. They presented their findings to guests and fellow students.

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Mr. Blankenship’s sophomore sustainable living scholars are working on designing a series of raised beds to install around our flagpole to increase our biological diversity and to enhance our campus with installations that will promote sustainable living as a pathway and as a life choice.

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In order to receive dual credit in Mrs. Rose’s Computer Applications class (ENGT 1010), freshmen must demonstrate mastery of Office Suite through an in-depth presentation of our four career pathways. Students present before a live audience consisting of CMA teachers and parents as well as KCS supervisors and PSCC faculty and staff.

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Mrs. Crowe’s geometry class and Mr. Vickers’s Algebra class are working on a sustainable living PBL that explores the benefit of using shade balls to reduce evaporation and conserve water.  First, they have to figure out how to determine the area of our CMA pond!

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Mrs. Blevin’s Criminal Justice (CJ1110) dual credit class has been working on a number of PBL’s. They are in the process of learning how to make plaster casts of footprints at a crime scene as well as exploring different aspects of contemporary law enforcement by looking at the relationship between social media, bullying, and terrorism.

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Open House

Last Thursday, December 3rd, CMA had its first open house of the recruiting season. Our student ambassadors spoke on behalf of their classroom teachers, explaining to visitors how we use project-based learning to incorporate our career pathways into our curriculum. Our next open house is January 14th at 5:00. Check the Sunday News-Sentinels for our ads! Remember, if you are a Knox County resident and wish to apply to CMA, all you have to do is fill out the online transfer application.

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