Project Group 2.0 is an after school club for middle and intermediate school students. It is essentially a second project group, for those who miss the Project Group class in elementary school. Brad Skaggs, the club coordinator and 5-6 science teacher, describes the club’s activities and goals (interview edited for clarity).
The Horizon Sun: What exactly is Project Group 2.0? What do students do in this club?
Skaggs: Project Group 2.0 is an opportunity for students to continue project group style activities individually.
The Sun: How is Project Group 2.0 different from regular Project Group?
S: Well, it’s voluntary, and it’s also more individual, so students can choose what they work on and what they want to learn about. It’s really more like “Project Individual” than “Project Group.”
The Sun: Do you guys go on any trips or have special activities in this class?
S: Well, we’ve had a flint knapping [shaping into a stone tool] demonstration, but generally activities are held within my classroom.
The Sun: What made you want to start Project Group 2.0? Have you done anything like this in the past?
S: I have done it in the past, but it’s really based on what the students want to do. I started this version because students showed an interest in this type of learning.
The Sun: Where do you want to take Project Group 2.0 in the future?
S: What we do really is based on the students’ individual initiative and motivation. I’m just here to guide and direct.
The Sun: What else do you want people to know about Project Group 2.0?
S: It’s designed for students to take the next step on their own, and learn about topics they want to know more about. It’s really more about the student.
The atmosphere in this class is very relaxed. The students make use of resources and teacher guidance to work on their own projects. John Minium, a seventh grader who built mini-marble launchers this class, said, “I like to come because every week Mr. Skaggs has a new topic to talk about.” Seventh grader Keira Hickie, while building the skeleton of her Da Vinci-esque flying machine (which I’m told she’s been working on since the beginning of Project Group 2.0), stated, “I really look forward to Project Group 2.0 because even though I have a long-term project, it’s nice to have something creative and fun to look forward to.” Xin Yen Lim, another seventh grader, merely stated, “I think Project Group 2.0 is fun.”
Project Group 2.0 is an incredible opportunity for students to express their creativity and learn about things that they are curious about. It is a breeding ground for new ideas and original creations where students can freely learn and build. Meetings are every Thursday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in room 415.