by Julie Maxwell-Jolly, Policy and Programs officer
A recent site visit to the Sacramento School of Engineering and Sciences provided CSBA Executive Committee members and staff with a real-world view of the Linked Learning approach. Visitors observed the diverse student population as they worked from an interdisciplinary approach that combines computer programming and writing in an English class by programming small robots to perform in student-written plays. Students also used algebra to calculate how many calories are in a bar of chocolate—and how long they would have to exercise in order to burn those calories; and put the finishing touches on a solar-powered boat they took to a statewide completion the following Saturday.
The students’ high level of interest and deep engagement in their work was evident across the Sacramento City Unified school site. President Cindy Marks noted students’ obvious, but polite, impatience to get back to work as the adults interrupted collaborative project-based activities with questions, and she commented on the evident self-possession and pride of the students who described the process of designing, building, and testing the solar boat.
The site visit was organized in collaboration with the Linked Learning Alliance, of which CSBA is a member, as a result of the CSBA Linked Learning taskforce members’ desire to see the approach in action. Additional site visits will be organized for the Executive Committee and other interested CSBA members in the coming months.