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Project Change presentations inspire students
Eighth graders were asked one question when they were introduced to Project Change – Can one person impact the lives of many?

The question was asked by teachers Stephanie Hulbert and Renee Stento to their eighth-grade honors students. In a collaborative project, incorporating learning standards from social studies and English, students worked with partners to research a global issue that inspired them to raise awareness and design a viable experience.

“There are so many benefits to inquiry-based learning,” Hulbert said. “It is an ideal way to develop information literacy and critical thinking skills, all while keeping students motivated.”

The culmination of this project shared the stage with the annual science fair in the high school library. The projects were shared with family, friends and community members. Eighth graders also shared their research on global issues and presented solutions.

“I really enjoyed this project, and because of it, I found a new way to look at future projects,” eighth-grader Jillian Robinson said. “It meant a lot to me. I think I speak for the rest of the honors class when I say that tonight was amazing, and the work we did for the past couple weeks was really worth it.”

For the project, students needed to document their inquiries in individually written papers that provided cited evidence and research to support their findings and solutions. They also needed to include several visual components, such as display boards, multimedia presentations, and creative elements that clearly communicated their ideas.

“I felt like I really got through to people and was able to make a change,” Madison Blincoe said. “I never thought that my project and ideas could do such a thing.”

“Project Change inspired not only me, but my peers and family,” Blincoe’s partner, Adrienne Paternoster said.

During the evening, students were able to talk with others about their concerns. The topics were wide-spread, ranging from the long-term effects of global warming to the impact that social media has on somebody’s self-esteem.

“Honestly, this project was amazing,” said Hannah Talbot who, along with partner Makayla Phillips, made it a goal to bring Girls on the Run to Pakistan to empower young girls against domestic violence. “I felt important knowing that I was doing something to help an important cause.”

Stento agreed.

“Students were able to use the skills and practices we rehearse in class every day, like research and identifying bias, and put these to use on a topic of their own choosing,” Stento said. “I think it made what we do in class more meaningful and relevant for the students.”

To see a full gallery of images, please click here.

Below is a video of Seycelle Kolic and Hannah Gray performing during the event:

Sidney Central School District
95 West Main Street  |  Sidney, NY 13838  |   Phone: 607.563.2135  |   Fax: 607.563.2386
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