Sonoma County Office of Education

21st Century Learning

First Graders Leading the Way with PBL

Author: Matt O'Donnell
Published: 06.13.16

First grade students at University Elementary at La Fiesta in Rohnert Park, California engaged in project based learning to design a new train for Sonoma-Marin Area Rapid Transit.  After hearing from an engineer from SMART, students in Mr. Kurada’s class designed and built a life-size, 16-foot long model of the new SMART train out of cardboard. They also created a custom logo, and route map.  Their finished product was exhibited to the community at an evening event where people could see the amazing result of the student’s hard work.  The project focused on the NGSS Engineering Design Standards, but also addressed Mathematics, Social Studies, and English Language Arts.  This is an excellent example of authentic inquiry based learning where students used creativity and collaboration to solve a real world problem.

You can view a photobook of the entire project here.


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