Denton Elementary and CRHS Project Lead the Way Students Team Up for Learning

(PDF) Project Lead the Way (PLTW) students at Colonel Richardson High School (CRHS) connected with Denton Elementary School (DES) students to meet specific learning goals and have fun at the same time. 

Denton Elementary physical education teacher Eric Pittsinger explains, “We have Adapted Physical Education students who often struggle to develop grade level appropriate throwing skills due to lack of context for the skill. Erin Bonner, adapted physical education teacher specialist, connected me with PLTW teacher Chad Shelly and his class to address that need.  We asked them to provide the students with a target that gets their attention and rewards them for hitting it which encourages their participation and increases opportunities for practice.”

PLTW students are required to complete a Capstone Project which involves writing a research proposal, designing a product, going through a testing and redesign phase, and then developing a final product for evaluation. The teachers agreed that the needs of both groups would mesh well. 

PLTW students produced carnival style games that were bright and colorful enough to capture the younger students’ attention and designed to reward them with noise or lights when the target is hit. 

On the day the two groups came together, DES students were eager to get involved and try out the games. CRHS students were completely engaged as they explained how their project worked and assisted the younger ones in playing.  

PLTW teacher Chad Shelley shared, “In the building phase, some students were questioning why they were doing a project that required the use of tools never used in class.  But while we were presenting the games to the DES kids, my students had a lot of “aha!” moments. They saw the impact of their projects and realized their work could mean something to others.  They walked away with a real sense of service and an understanding of the impact on a segment of their community.”   

(Photos available on the Caroline County Public Schools Flickr page.)