Clayton-Bradley Academy is adamant about using project-based learning to let students take initiative in their education.

Projects are assigned in nearly every class and happen quarterly; these can be presentations, debates, videos, papers, displays and all sorts of other mediums.

These projects are critical to CBA’s Mission to ignite the power of learning.

The first quarter project in microbiology was creating a sourdough starter to bake bread from.

This uses fermentation through a bacteria known as lactobacilli.

Each student was responsible for designing their protocols, growing the starter at home, and sharing the bread with the class.

Meanwhile, in class, they studied the lactobacilli, as well as other bacteria and organisms, grew cultures of fungi and analyzed various bacterias and organisms.

Integrated Math 3 studied trigonometry. They used similarity and trig ratios to estimate the height or width of large objects like creeks, bridges, gym ceilings and flag poles.

Each group created an instructional video to explain their methods.

“When you have to physically collect data and create a mathematical model of a real-world situation, it really cements that knowledge better than simply doing problems,” Dr. Jennifer Bruce said.

In sophomore English and civics, students are studying government and how they are designed.

They were tasked with designing a new government for the “Republic of Tennessee.”

“To do these projects you really have to learn how to be creative, research and stay organized in a real sense,” Hanna Rassmussen said.

Project-Based Learning is a keystone of CBA curriculum. Whether you’re designing a constitution, baking bread, or finding the width of a creek, projects are designed to give students a chance to explore their interests in a real-world setting. These projects prepare them for success in college as well as building critical thinkers.

Melanie joined The Daily Times in the early 90s and has served as the Life section editor since 1993. A William Blount and UT alum, Melanie is generally the early arriver who turns on the lights in the newsroom.

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