Burkburnett ISD implements project-based learning

Burkburnett Project Based Learning

BURKBURNETT, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Students at Burkburnett High School are putting down the pencil and paper and heading to the garden.

"We had to take weeds and pull them out. We had to dig up all the old roots," said junior, Kyson Hoskins.  "It was fun but it was a lot of hard work."

These high school students are part of agriculture science teacher Donnie Lopps' garden project he started three years ago to give students more hands-on learning.

"We have grown a summer garden of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and peppers," said Lopps.  "We had a good okra crop this year and we have also started some strawberries last year as a project that the students wanted to do."

The beds of fruits and vegetables fit right in with the districts new concept of project-based learning, a non-traditional way to get students into a different learning environment.

"It is just much more student-centered. Much more interactive," said Kayci Provence, innovation specialist for Burkburnett ISD. "It provides the hands-on [learning] and [it's] more authentic."

Provence said projects like this will not only help the kids learn but serve the community.

"They could provide to Meals on Wheels or feeding the kids in the cafeterias," said Provence.

Lopps' project goes directly with his curriculum for the class and students say it has taught them a thing or two.

"I am learning more about, like, how to plant things," said Cassidy Summers a sophomore. "I know, so, they're ready for the next season.  You don't want things to be too close and you [have] to plant them just right so they get enough nutrients and water."

"I just like being outside," said Hoskins. "You are cooped up all day kind of and it's just relaxing to come out here and plant and be outside."

Provence said this new approach to learning lets students take what they learn and apply it to everyday life.

"It is open and endless," said Provence. "The world is at your fingertips.

Burkburnett ISD is not the only school putting this kind of learning to practice. Fain Elementary in the Wichita Falls ISD has also implemented project-based learning.

Copyright 2018 RNN Texoma. All Rights Reserved.