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Student projects sought for new event

A Night at the 21st Century Museum

A Night at the 21st Century Museum

On May 14, the Heritage Complex in Tulare will be transformed into this showcase of student projects as part a new event entitled A Night at the 21st Century Museum. According to Joy Soares, the Tulare County Office of Education's Project Based Learning staff development and curriculum specialist, A Night at the 21st Century Museum was created with two big ideas in mind: offer a format where students and teachers can share their high quality work and create an event where parents, community members, and other teachers and students can gain an understanding of project based learning. "Many Tulare County teachers and students are examining what it means to be 21st Century teachers and learners," says Mrs. Soares. "A Night at the Century Museum is a place where we can further the discussions together as students, teachers, parents and communities."

One of the projects being featured at A Night at the 21st Century Museum is a restaurant concept developed by students at Countryside High School in Tulare. This month, students Taylor Saltkill, Nicole Whitten, Rickelle Floyd, Genesis Deniz and Ruben Gonzales are working to create a restaurant from top to bottom. The team will choose a theme for their restaurant, research appropriate restaurant décor, create the menu, develop job descriptions, learn about food safety, design their attire and serve meals to a panel of judges at the Tulare Youth Services Bureau. According to school counselor Lisa Jacobo, the Countryside project is an excellent example of Project Based Learning. "Students are prioritizing and problem-solving," she says. "They are working together as a group, observing, imagining, researching and revising. It's a process where they realize that they can't do their job without the help of the others." In addition to the Countryside restaurant project, Mrs. Soares reports that the event will feature documentaries, live performances, literacy projects, enterprise ventures and other exhibits.

A Night at the 21st Century Museum Students from the future Dinuba High School Academy of Engineering and Construction Management have been asked to create a museum. Dinuba High School will begin its Academy of Engineering and Construction Management next fall with Marlena Celaya as lead teacher. Ms. Celaya assembled the five-member student team to design the exhibition for A Night at the 21st Century Museum. Mrs. Soares and Rob Herman, public information officer and a former museum administrator, met with the students to encourage them in the process. Working with the essential question "How can we design a 21st Century museum where all of the visitors and exhibitors will learn together?", the students will begin developing a scale drawing of the space and thinking about how to organize dozens of exhibits and performance areas to maximize visitor engagement. Ms. Celaya says, "I hope that our students will learn what is needed in order to create an exceptional plan - whether it is for this museum or any other business sector project."

Teachers who would like to submit examples of their students' project based learning for exhibition at A Night at the 21st Century Museum are encouraged to contact Joy Soares at (559) 647-9973 before April 25.

Photos above:
~ Students from Countryside High School in Tulare are preparing to exhibit their restaurant design project at the first annual A Night at the 21st Century Museum event May 14 in Tulare.
~ Joy Soares, curriculum specialist for Project Based Learning, discusses the new event with students from Dinuba High School. The students will be designing the exhibition space for the projects displayed at the event.