Students use project-based learning to improve city design
- Using a program called Moonshoot, developed by a Google engineer, some students are brainstorming and ideating novel ways to improve communities and cities.
- The ultimate goal is to get more classrooms to look like K-12 incubators, where students learn the startup mindset while still in school, according to EdSurge.
- The effort is part of a growing movement to incorporate more student voices at the K-12 and university level into solving urban challenges.
As project-based learning becomes an increasingly popular way to impart hands-on and real-world experiences, it's only natural that these projects begin to branch out and focus on different areas. The Moonshot program in particular looks at brainstorming ideas around climate change and urban renewal, although there are limited opportunities for putting these programs into action.
In variations of this approach, students have worked directly with city planners in Portland, OR, to conduct surveys and design plans to make public spaces more inviting for young people. That project was borne out of a collaborative, community-based after-school program open to area students, but cities such as Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC have begun programs of their own. In Cedar Rapids, IA, students that attend the public high school program Iowa BIG attend school part-time and spend the rest of their time working with businesses and local organizations on projects that benefit the community.