Exhibitions are 4 times a year. The students present what they have learned in their projects to the community, industry partners, families, school partners, corporations, organizations and other schools. The visitors assess the student’s knowledge by asking questions, scoring their presentation, analyzing their final product and identifying 21st century skills. The exhibitions are the students main Performance Assessment for their project.
In the act of learning, the students obtain content knowledge, acquire skills, and develop work habits—and practice the application of all three to “real world” situations. Project – based learning and assessment represent a set of strategies for the acquisition and application of knowledge, skills, and work habits through the performance of tasks that are meaningful and engaging to students.
The subject area content can come from already defined curriculums or can be enhanced by the adoption of a set of themes or topics by the industry partners, staff and students.
Higher-order thinking or process skills can come from the various disciplines, such as writing or proofreading from language arts or math computation and problem-solving skills. Other process skills cut across subject area lines or may be identified as areas of need based on standardized testing (e.g., analogies, categorizing information, drawing inferences, etc.).
Time management, individual responsibility, honesty, persistence, and intrapersonal skills, such as appreciation of diversity and working cooperatively with others, are examples of work habits necessary for an individual to be successful in life.
Performance tasks build on earlier content knowledge, process skills, and work habits and are strategically placed in the project to enhance learning as the student “pulls it all together.” Such performance tasks are not “add-ons” at the end of instruction. They are both an integral part of the learning and an opportunity to assess the quality of student performance. When the goal of teaching and learning is knowing and using, the performance-based projects emerge.