Have students changed throughout the centuries? Are our learning styles similar or different than our parents? Have our expectations of students as learners changed as society places new and challenging demands on schools? What does it mean to be a student today, and can these 21st Century Learners make a difference in education and our community?

As we enter our 2009-2010 school year, we began pondering these questions associated with learning, engagement, purposeful learning, and our responsibility to our community as learners.

Students watched three incredibly insightful movies, " The Networked Student“, A Vision of K-12 Today” and “Pay Attention” , which were created to make educators, teachers, students, and those concerned about elevating our students to success
THINK! Our society has expectations that students be able to analyze, evaluate, critic, gather and manipulate data, and most importantly create to further the pursuit of knowledge or the cause. Content is easily accessible- in fact it is practically in our pockets (Iphones, data phone, IPODS, etc.).

After watching both videos, students were asked to reflect upon these four questions:
How do you learn?
• What are your passions?
• What does engagement mean to you?
• What does it mean to be a learner today?

Our conversation moved into personal goal setting and how we can share our strengths and make a difference within our community. The following question will help students develop their own passion based learning project and pursue a year worth of self discovery and enriching the lives of others.

What am I going to do this year in enrichment that is going to make a difference in my life, and in the life of others and serve my passions?


Passion based Action Project




Math Magic Project



Animals Matter


The Brain

Brain Touch



Engineering Explorations Project


Awesome Animals Project



Electrifying Energy



Invention Isle



Learning About Lawyers
Exploring Publishing
Constitutional Law
Exploring Constitutional Law

Action Plan Resources


Passion Based Web Site Template

Networked Learning- Making Connections


ALL introductory paragraphs and interview questions must be approved by Mrs. Nitsche BEFORE making any contacts, phone calls or email.


Either make the contact under supervision from Mrs. Nitsche at school OR request permission from your parents before making any contacts, phone calls or emails at home.

Possible Interview Questions

You will need to make them more specific to your particular career and reorder them to make the conversation flow.
REMEMBER: You will also need an introduction to what you are doing, why you are doing it, and why you are interviewing them.

  • Is there anything you did not enjoy about the road to your profession?
  • What do you like most about your job?
  • What made you decide on this career path?
  • Is there anything that you do not enjoy about your job?
  • What led you to be an engineer?
  • What is important to consider when choosing as a career?
  • What education and courses did you need to become a ?
  • What advice do you have for me as I consider this as a possible career?
  • What are your responsibilities in your position?
  • Is there any place you can direct me to find out more about your profession?

Action Projects

Steps in an Action Project

1. Choose a topic.

  • Choose a topic that you think interests you. Look around you and make a list of ideas.

2. Identify what you already know

  • Write down everything you know about your topic.

3. Research

  • After you have listed everything you know about your topic, search out other sources to collect more information. Use different kinds of sources- text, internew, experiments, surveys, experiments, etc. Write down all of your new information and keep records of your sources of information.

4. Networked Learner Connections

  • Identify people who you can interview and talk with to learn more about your topic. This is a chance to hear more personal information about your topic that you cannot find from text and internet sources.

5. Restate the problem

  • Often after you get more information, you discover a problem that you think needs a solution. Based on all of your facts, how can you state your problem?
  • What are different ways to state your problem?
  • What is the real problem?
  • What is your real objective?
  • What must be accomplished?
  • Look at the problem in several different ways.
  • Write the problem several different ways by completing the sentence:
  • In what way might I ....
  • Then select the best problem statement from you list to continue your work.

6. Brainstorm Ideas

  • Here is your chance to be creative. Write down all of the ideas you have for solving this problem. Even is an idea seems silly or impractical, add it to your list, becaus it might start you thinking about other solutions. Use your imagination and write as many solutions as possible without judging whether the ideas are good or not.

7. Decide on Criteria for rating alternative solutions

  • What are some things involved in determining whether a solution to your problem is good or not? What standards will yo use to judge the best solution? Make a list of three to five essential elements of the best solution or considerations or tests tha the final solution must pass.

8. Rate solutions

  • Now you will use your criteria to evaluate your possible solutions. Use a Evaluation Grid to list your ideas down the side and your criteria across the top. Decide how each idea measures up to each criterion and assign a number to represent that rating. Add the ratings for each idea and record the total in the total column.

9. Solution finding

  • Examine all of your ideas. Which ideas have the highest rating?Which ones have the lowest rating? Can some ideas with the lowest ratings be used if they are changed in some way? Can some solutions be combined to make better solutions? Bases on this evaluation, which idea looks like it is the most promising solution?

10. Plan of action

  • Now you will need to develop a plan of action to help you implement the solution you selected.

11. Implementation and Presentation

  • Carry out your plan.

12. Self-evaluation

  • Use your individual goal rubrics to evaluate your work on your project

Use the chart below as a guide to help you develop you action project.

Criteria for Developing Your Action Project How well does your action project meet each guideline on a scale of 1 (Low) to (High)?

Your Rating
Peer Rating
Teacher Rating
I can do higher level thinking (form an opinion and propose a solution or plan)

It is connected to the world outside of school. It is meaningful, important to me.

It will address my goals:
· Advanced Research – Analysis and Synthesis
· Creative Problem Solving
· Critical Problem Solving

The action plan identifies an action/change I want to occur

The action plan is focused on a selected audience

I have developed a Plan of Action listing everything I need to do along with a timeline that specifies when I will complete each task in my plan of action.

Use the form below as a guide to help you make your plan of action that lists everything that you need to do.

Plan of Action


Solution: _

Use these questions as a guide to plan how you will carry out the solution to your problem. Use and answer questions as they apply to your action project.

1. What needs to be done?
2. Who needs to be sold on this idea?
3. What might be their objections?
4. How can you overcome their objections?
5. What resources do you need to carry out your solution?
6. Where can you get these resources?
7. Who can give you help?
8. How can you best present your solution?
9. Where do you begin?
10. What do you do next?

Answer the following questions by making a plan of action that lists everything that you need to do. In addition, make a timetable that specifies when you will complete each task in your plan of action.

· What do you need to do?
· How will you do it?
· When does it need to be done?
· Who do you need to contact?
· Where do you need to go?

What will I do?
Start date
Finish date