Project Based Learning Units during the 18/19 school year


Topic Studied

Driving Question

End Product

Authentic Audience

Analogy for presenting at the end of the year

Questions to ask students to display their learning

Why we need a new government

The events, people and ideals that shaped the creation of the United States. Why our founding fathers fought for the development of a new nation.

How can we, as space advocates, decide who should make the trip to Mars and what we should take to establish a successful new world?

Creative presentation about the political figure you would send to Mars to setup a new government.

Classroom and live twitter feed

Coke Machine

What factors led to the creation of a new government?

What historical events did you need to study to understand the implications for setting up a new government on Mars?

3 Branches

Three branches of government

How can you share how the three branches of government interact with a younger audience?

A game/book that would teach younger students how the three branches of government operate

The younger classes @ ZQuest

Farmer with tractor, planting seeds, watered, etc.

How do you think creating a book or a game help other students learn about the different branches of government?

What were some considerations you needed to keep in mind when you were planning your book or game?

Can you describe how this project assisted you in learning how the three branches of government interact and why it’s beneficial for our country to have this system?

JDY-Power Plant

Renewable Energy Sources

How can the city of Holland repurpose the JDY Power Plant in a way that meets the needs of the community and that is also sustainable?

A model (digital or physical) and presentation showing how the space will be reused, the criteria and constraints, renewable energy, and how the space reflects “work, play, live”

Mayor of Holland

People from the energy plant

Community stakeholders invited by students


(over 100 people attended!)


What were some of the criteria and constraints of the JDY building?

How did you choose the renewable source that you did?

What need did your design fill for the community?

Ramen Warmer

Thermal energy transfer

How can companies like Doordash or Uber Eats use scientific principles be used to design, construct, and test a device that keeps ramen warm over an extended period of time?

Designed a device and created an annotated diagram of how thermal energy moves within the deviceS

School principals and teachers; a local chef and a cooking instructor were invited but unavailable

Palm tree with coconuts

How did your ramen warmer design change after the tests?

How did thermal energy move throughout your design?

What were some strengths and weaknesses of your design?

Down with Waste Week (Afternoon Science only)

Global warming and environmental impacts

How can we collaborate to make a positive change in our environmental impact?

Collected data regarding the amount and type of trash thrown out at lunch per week

Planned and taught age-appropriate lessons to each class with interactive components. Taught about ways to reduce waste.

Repeated data collection during Down with Waste Week.

ZQuest classrooms

Compost bin

What are some ways that waste impacts the environment?

What surprised you about the amount or type of trash thrown away each day?

How has this made you more aware of the trash you generate each day?

Natural Disaster Technology

Predicting natural disasters, impacts of natural disasters, informational writing

How can engineers invent or improve on a technology that can help reduce the impacts of a natural disaster?

Patent for new technology design

Nick Bonstell (Director of Emergency Response for Ottawa Co)

Other: TBD

Path of a hurricane

What are some impacts of natural disasters that people don’t typically consider or know about?

To what extent can we predict disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes?

How did you know that your design was patentable?

Water Walk

Reading The Big Thirst, all water crises are local, good and bad examples of water use, connected to sustainability unit in science

How can we use a water walk as a call to action to address the local water crisis?

-Set up a Facebook page and Go Fund Me account for Project Clarity

-Planned and carried out water walk through downtown Zeeland

Skyped with Charles Fishman

Local Zeeland businesses

Zeeland Community

Anyone who saw the Facebook page and/or donated to the Go Fund Me

What does it mean that all water crises are local?

What committee were you on? What responsibilities did you have?


Understanding how certain political figures shaped the development of our young nation

How can we, as members of the Zeeland community plead our case for a new installation in Zeeland?

Create a shark tank pitch with an interaction that would plead your case for a new installation in Zeeland.

Mayor of Zeeland (Kevin Klynstra)

Abby Deroo (Feel the Zeel)


How do historical figures connect to Zeeland?

What were some of the constraints or requirements for the project that you felt were difficult to work with?

How did working on this project show you how an ordinary citizen can make a change in their community?

Website Development

How expansion affected the development of communities in America. Specifically the African American community.

How can you, as a multimedia specialist plan, build, and publish information about African American communities that shaped the United States?

Build a website as a class. Each student is responsible for content on a website page.

Political Science major  andGlobal audience. The World Wide Web.


What is your WHY for this website? Why is it necessary to provide this service?

How did your experience in DC assist you in creating this website?

Food Truck Battle

Data statistics and analytics

How can data analytics be used to help create a food truck business?

Use data to inform decisions in the business planning of a food truck.

Teachers, fellow students, Parents, Hope professor, and community members

Food truck parts

Why is data so important for businesses and are there times when data can hurt the growth of a business?

Can you describe specific ways that data was used in the creation of the food truck business plan?