At McKenna High School, students are engaged in skills-rich projects that result in high-quality products or performances for audiences beyond the classroom. Projects are a primary structure for inschool learning, teaching core skills and content through classroom lessons, discussions, labs, and work sessions, as well as through student research and fieldwork. The products of student projects are typically modeled on real-world documents and artifacts, with professional models guiding student work.
Examples of Project-Based Learning
Alternative Energy: solar oven testing, solar panel experiments and model turbine construction/testing. Multi-year project to install wind turbine with ongoing student monitoring of energy production.
Meteorology: daily weather observation collection, installing the stevensons box weather station, TV style weather forecast final presentation.
World Geography: Students decide on an international dream vacation they would like to take. The project requires researching the country and the details of their stay. The final is presenting slide show of their trip in a realistic/persuasive manner.
Map Skills: Students construct a clay mountain landscape and then create a topographic map from the model.
Oceanography: Students pick a threat to ocean ecology and do in depth research over the length of the course, developing a written report and visual presentation as their final.
Astronomy: Students pick a current or recent space mission and do in-depth research over the length of the course, developing a written report and visual presentation as their final.
Economics: Students invest in the stock market then track their portfolio, make decisions about trading stocks and research weekly what events in the news may have contributed to a stock's especially good or poor performance over the week. Investor performance is tracked on a class investor graph outside the room.
Shakespearean Sonnet Modern Adaptation-
Students used Shakespearean sonnet conventions to create a satirical style about current events. The students turned the sonnet into a poster with images to highlight the points of emphasis within the poem. These poems are on display in the hallway.
My Scarlet Letter Activity-
In class we are reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter in class. Students had to cut out their own Scarlet Letter and sew the letter on the chest of a polo shirt. Students had to write a one page reflection explaining why they chose the letter, and what the letter means to them. Students read their reflections while wearing the shirts in front of underclassmen. After students read their reflections while wearing the letters, we opened up the room for discussion between two classes. After the other class left, I had the students frame their shirts and letters. These are displayed in the classroom.
1. Earn 46 semester credits in the following areas:
2. Complete a senior project.
3. Take the ACT, SAT or Compass exam by the end of 11th grade.
4. Be proficient in Reading, Language, and Math on the 10th grade Spring Idaho Standard Achievement Test (ISAT).
5. Earn at least 6 credits through Richard McKenna, regardless of the number of credits earned at other schools.