Problem-based Learning

Shepardson STEM Elementary follows the Problem-based Learning (PBL) Model for STEM instruction delivery. PBL is a learning process where students are given the chance to solve real-world, authentic problems. Students study and research problems and come up with solutions.

During the 2017-2018 school year, each grade level participated in two PBL unit, with 4th and 5th graders having the opportunity for a third PBL experience through Media and Technology PBLs.  Here's a quick snapshot of the problem titles and statements of the PBLs for this year. 

Kindergarten - "Helping Houston" (Fall)

Kids in America have recently been affected by hurricanes and are without basic needs at home and at school. They need your help.

Kindergarten - "Hand Washing" (Spring)

According to our UC Health partners, people are not washing their hands. They need our help to solve this problem

Partners: UC Health - Poudre Valley Hospital

First Grade - "Stay Cool at School" (Fall)

Shepardson students need a way to stay cool on the playground so that they can be healthy and productive learners when they come back inside. 

First Grade - "Populating Pollinators" (Spring)

Pollinators are experiencing declining populations. Our partners at The Gardens on Spring Creek are researching ways to attract pollinators to the Gardens. They need our help. 

Partners: The Gardens on Spring Creek

Second Grade - "Animals and Humans - Got Space?" (Fall)

People in our community who want to minimize human impact on organisms need a way to protect and/or restore disrupted habitats so that organisms and humans can coexist peacefully.

Second Grade - "All the Places You Will Go!" (Spring)

Our partners, Visit Fort Collins, want to increase tourism in Fort Collins, but they have a limited budget.

Partners: Visit Fort Collins

Third Grade - "Life Giving Water" (Fall)

The Western United States is in a continuous state of drought. People in the Western Region need to understand how water inpacts our environment in order to be responsible community members. 

Third Grade - "Native vs. Non-native Species" (Spring)

Invasive species cause a treat to native species in Colorado.

Fourth Grade - "Waste Busters" (Fall)

Shepardson needs a way to reduce waste so that we decrease the impact to our community. 

Fourth Grade - "Healthy Community" (Spring)

Choices we make impact our personal health. According to our partners, students have daily opportunities to positively impact their personal health and wellness. Their choices can impact themselves and those around them. How can we make a difference in the choices they make? 

Partners: UC Health, CSU Prevention Research Center, Larimer County Sheriff's Office

Fifth Grade - "Living with Purpose" (Fall)

According to our partners, it is often challenging for residents in senior living facilities to find continued purpose in their lives. The elderly need support in fostering healthy habits and interpersonal connections that help them feel a sense of purpose so they can live a quality life. 

Partners: Columbine Health Systems

Fifth Grade - "Solar Energy for Fort Collins" (Spring)

Partners: City of Fort Collins Utilities

Media PBL - "Library Cards for Kids" - 4th Grade

Our Poudre River Libraries partners would like more elementary school students to get library cards and use them. How can we increase the number of Shepardson students getting and using a Poudre River Library card? 

Partners: Poudre River Libraries

Technology PBL - "Safely Navigating the Net" - 5th Grade 

Partners: Larimer County Sheriff's Office