PBL@RU: What's Been Going On?

September/October 2016

UVM Ropes Course

The PBL Challenges hit the ground running with their annual trip to UVM's ropes course. This experience allows all of the PBL participants to experience the physical manifestation of their project-based work. Students build community through collaboration, problem-solving, and risk-taking. As Youth Media lead partner Jamie Koehnlein Connor noted, "we literally had each other's lives in our hands." What a way to start the year!

Archaeology Students Trek to Colorado

The Archaeology PBL has departed for their much-anticipated journey to Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, CO. To prepare for their trip, they have spent the last month researching and building the foundational knowledge necessary to get the best out of their experience. Their discussions focused on In Search of the Old Ones by David Roberts, and Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction by Paul Bahn, which sparked independent research projects that centered on topics such as the different types of archaeology, the history of the discipline, and the ethics surrounding the topic. Upon their return, they will explore project and application options in the local community.
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Health Initiative PBL Hosts Sleepout for Homelessness

The Health Initiative PBL recently hosted a sleepout to spread awareness about child homelessness. The October evening was chilly and clear, emphasizing the struggle the homeless population experiences on a day-to-day basis. As one student noted, "I thought this was going to be a fun night with my friends, but as the night went on and we got colder and colder and more and more tired, I began to understand what people go through- it was a shocking experience." The students in the challenge will now put their efforts into uniting to concentrate on a local health initiative.
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Restorative Justice PBL Works with Local Committee

The students in the Restorative Justice PBL had the opportunity to work with Kym Anderson, Loretta Stalnaker, and Concepcion Cruz of the Randolph Restorative Justice Committee, role-playing a Restorative Justice circle to work toward implementing Restorative Justice in the school. They have also been working on independent research projects to explore issues such as recidivism, prison life, and the school to prison pipeline, and enhanced their understanding further by attending a symposium at Vermont Law School on the criminal justice system.
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Youth Media Partners with WGDR Goddard

The Youth Media PBL has just met with their community expert, Jackie Batten of WGDR Goddard. They have been working on their personal narratives, recording their stories using the latest recording equipment, and honing their skills in using the Audacity software to edit their work. After they get the basics down, they will begin to focus on crafting, recording and broadcasting local news stories and topics of interest, modeling such outlets as VPR's "This American Life" and "The Moth". They have also launched their social media pages to broadcast and feature the work of the PBL Challenges this year.
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Interact Initiatives: Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, the American Red Cross, and Hands in Outreach

The students in the Interact PBL have already hosted their first blood drive, continued to fundraise for Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, and furthered their goals to fund a Nepalese student's college tuition. Currently, members of the course are applying to become project managers of each initiative, collecting references and going through a formal interview process to prove their leadership qualities.

R.A.N.D. partners with Colleen Goodhue of Dartmouth College

The students in the R.A.N.D. (Randolph Area Narrative Documentary film) challenge have recently met with Colleen Goodhue of Dartmouth College to work with her on a project to collect footage to put together a film on the PBL program. Colleen walked them through the photography and video equipment basics that will allow them to play a crucial role in developing the film and in producing their own documentaries on local pressing issues throughout the year.