The community got a look at Bridges Community Academy's approach to project-based learning Thursday.
"Bridges and Business Partnering: Following The Road to Success" program, presented in the gymnasium, included students reporting results of a research project they completed with area businesses.
The project involved representatives of five businesses - Clouse Construction Corp., Laminate Technologies, National Machinery, Taiho Corp. and Webster Industries - working with students in grades 8-12.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Grace Blevins, an eighth-grader at Bridges Community Academy, delivers a presentation about National Machinery Thursday evening.
"It was a peer group that did (the project). ... We started with a 'what if' question," Director Dona Kaufman said.
During the three-week project, students explored what would happen if the businesses were to leave Tiffin.
"What would happen to Tiffin?" Kaufman asked.
Students researched what a plant closing would mean for other agencies and conducted interviews with representatives of the companies.
Freshman Sheniah Lanier and her group researched Webster Industries.
"We found out some history on Webster," she said.
Lanier said the group brainstormed what probably would happen if the business were to leave Tiffin. She said there would be a population decline because people probably would leave to find new jobs.
Also, she said, there would be fewer students, so some schools possibly would close or downsize.
"We learned a lot about Webster and what they do. ... I really didn't know anything about Webster," freshman Eva Pahl said.
Kaufman explained the educational model during a breakfast presentation at Camden Falls in February. She said Thursday officials wanted to do one session of the project before the end of the school year.
"I think we've got it," she said.
There will be new projects next year, Kaufman said.
"It won't be the same," she said.
Thursday's program also showcased projects completed by younger students.
Students in grades 4-7 completed a project about a carbon footprint, worked on Project Peace and participated in the Junior Optimist Octagon International club. Students in grades K-3 hosted a lemonade stand to fight childhood cancer.
"The little ones made the lemonade," Kaufman said.