To kick off the PBL, the Denton County Traveling “Then and Now” Museum visited McAuliffe to show what life was like in the 1800’s. During their visit, presenters explained and passed along items like an old iron and various every day tools utilized by families while on a wagon train during Westward Expansion.
Next, students at the Highland Village campus at 2300 Briarhill Blvd. focused on one driving question, “How can we share with others the way the world has changed?”
Throughout the entire class, students worked in groups of three focusing on specific areas of research: transportation, communication and technology. The goal – to research time and link the past to the present.
To culminate their learning experience, groups created their own museum with a project board to showcase the “then” and a technology piece (e.g. PowerPoint, Prezi, video, etc.) to showcase the “now” findings from their research.
“I hope they realize how much things have changed, and I want them to think forward on what’s in the future,” teacher Monica MeGown said. “Just having them look at what they’ve experienced in their lives of seven or eight years is crazy. When I tell them I didn’t have computers when I was born, they think that is crazy. Just having them make the connection of how things have changed and hopefully it will spark a few who may want to invent something or be a scientist who will invent cool things in the future.”
Students happily made the connection between then and now.
“I thought our PBL was really fun and I liked working with a group,” student Dane Parlin said. “I learned that there have been over five billion flights since the first plane.”
Cooper Moran added: “ It was fun to work with my group. I learned that computers used to work a lot slower back then. Computers today are much faster.”
Dr. Emmett Brown from the iconic movie “Back to the Future” said, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
Elizabeth Haas is part of the public relations team for the Lewisville Independent School District.