We know that experiential learning or hands-on learning creates lasting and meaningful understanding. At PAA, students get Project (problem) Based Learning regularly! Here’s a quick peek at some of the projects from January.

1. Seniors in Mrs. Peinado’s Careers and Senior Project class were assigned some “adulating” duties. Budgeting for life needs on a small income was challenging, but with the help of Chef Stef, our students were able to make meal plans that lined up with their tight grocery budget. Chef Stef also opened up her kitchen to teach them some basic (but essential kitchen skills). “Everyone eats,” she says. “Everyone should know how to make at least a few meals.” Students learned the proper (safe) way to cut onions and potatoes, which knives to use for specific work, and how to hold and hand-off knives.

Serving up the lunch they helped create during math class!

2. Mrs. Lipman brought her math students into the kitchen as well. Chef Stef pulled out her measuring cups and the students got a hands-on lesson about physical values and proportions. Making the lesson relevant to every day life, they converted a basic recipe for a small family into a recipe that fed the entire school for that day’s lunch! Real problems were solved when Chef Stef pointed out that three cups of salt would completely ruin the casserole! In the end, lunch was amazing. Some of the students even stayed in the kitchen to serve their friends the food they had made.

3. Mrs. Barrett believes holidays are a wonderful opportunity to better understand culture, traditions, and language. That’s why Profe helps her Spanish students celebrate and explore the meaning behind Latin American holidays. Her classes recently celebrated Kings Day, which is a loved holiday full of traditions in many Latin American countries. PAA parents even participated at home by filling shoes full of Mexican candy in the middle of the night (thanks moms and dads!).

4. Your future doctors, dentists, and nurses are getting foundational information in Mrs. Johnson’s Honors A&P course. Last month, she took her anatomy students to the OHSU human anatomy lab to study the integumentary, musculoskeletal and nervous systems. This annual tradition is one of the most anticipated experiences our students are given and it often spring boards students into specific directions of medicine.

5. Mrs. Johnson also took her Health & P.E. students to Portland Adventist Elementary school last month.  “We mentored little buddies by helping out with Music, Math, Science, Reading, and P.E.,” said Linda, who is teaching her students that meaningful and interactive connections are one part of a healthy lifestyle. Mentor days bring sister schools together to establish multi-generational bonds and build our Adventist community. Older students feel deep satisfaction teaching and mentoring young ones while younger students show enthusiasm in learning when information comes from a “big kid.” Adventist education is blessed to have family schools that seek to bridge learning across curriculum as well as grade levels.

6. Bonding generations to generations is the much-anticipated egg drop in Mr. Petersen’s class. It’s a fun and messy way to learn some basic truths about physics and creative problem solving. While the most unique contraptions don’t always turn out to be the most effective, they’re certainly entertaining and teach a real-life truth: in the times we fail, we learn. Fail they did! Laughter and egg guts splattered the gym floor. And many eggs managed to land safely. (We’ve been promised pictures . . . we’re still waiting.)