In early August, approximately 25 New Hampshire CTE instructors attended a two-day, project based learning (PBL) workshop in Concord with Marty Sugerik of the Southern Regional Education Board There were about 25 attendees that participated. In total, the training provided 13 hours of Professional Development over a two day period.

Areas covered during the two days ranged from how to implement icebreakers and class warm-ups to class notebooks and incentive programs. Teachers also learned about station teaching, which promotes collaborative independent learning by grouping 3-4 students together where they are assigned a task.
In station teaching, students are not allowed to ask the teacher questions, yet are allowed to use any resources they can find to solve the problem. Each student is responsible for demonstrating and documenting his or her work. Each group is responsible for documenting multiple solutions if consensus is not reached, while individual students are responsible for communicating on behalf of the group.

“In Gold Standard PBL projects, Marty also spent a considerable amount of time showing us his food truck project and how it relates to real world situations, which often tap into CTE topics,” noted attendee Heidi Havron, who teaches Math at the Manchester School of Technology. “It was stressed that there needs to be a real world component/CTE component to legitimize the portions of the project that relate to a particular field.”

The Career Development Bureau sponsored the professional development opportunity.

“We have received a great deal of positive feedback on the workshop and look forward to seeing the results of the project-based units that are rolled out over the coming year,” said Courtney Ritchings, NHDOE Career Development Bureau.

According to Havron, the entire training was quite productive. She said it was particularly beneficial that Sugerik was a math teacher and added math content to his program.

“At the end of the training, I had new techniques and examples of how to engage students with math problems, activities and projects that promote collaborative, yet accountable learning,” she said. “In addition, I was exposed to a slew of resources that can help me create my own material to use with the students.”