Linking learning to life.
The PAST “Bridge” program guides students from traditional, lecture-based classroom learning to transdisciplinary, problem-based STEM learning. The programs introduce concepts and give students real-world problems with which to embark on their new STEM journeys. There are four vital components to each and every PAST Bridge Programs:
Real Issues — Each project takes on a contemporary, real, world issue that over the course of the week students study or try and solve.
Real Partnerships — Students get excited when they engage with experts in the field and together address and issue or try to solve a problem.
Transdisciplinary Approach — Each program stresses how disciplines connect and enhance one another when undertaking any study.
Presentation of Learning — At the conclusion of every bridge program students present chronicling their work and outcomes. These presentations range from digital presentations to farmers markets, to community workshops.
Targeting students in their unique communities.
PAST always focuses on the individuality of its clients. Just as all organizations are different, so are their students. Thus, PAST designs its Bridge Programs to precisely fit the targeted population. There are three levels of bridge programs that scaffold to meet the evolving needs of students and increasing complexity of real world issues.
Level I programs specifically target younger students, generally from Middle School, who are transitioning from traditional learning environments to transdisciplinary, problem-based Learning and thus need a bridge to acclimate to the new approach. Examples of Level I programs include: Forensics in the Classroom, Advanced Material Sciences, Robots on the Move, and Mini-Racers.
Level II programs take students out of their comfortable home environment and introduce them to new worlds with real world issues that confront the communities they are visiting. Examples of Level II programs include: Cultural Landscapes – Michigan and Chesapeake, Channel Islands, Florida Keys Marine Ecosystems, Caving, Classic to Digital Architecture of Rome, Entomology, Middle Island Life Saving Station of Lake Michigan, and the Marshall Hotel Archaeological Investigation.
Level III programs provide advanced high school students, who have participated in previous bridge programs an opportunity to assume leadership roles. Examples of Level III programs with leadership roles include: Cultural Landscapes, Florida Keys Marine Ecosystems, Caving, and Channel Islands.
In addition to bridge programs that target Middle and High school students, PAST sponsors Adult Field Programs. These in-depth programs are longer in duration and delve deeper into specific content area. Like all other bridge programs they address real issues, partner with experts, take a transdisciplinary approach and require participants to produce reports that are subsequently digitally published.
Interested in designing Bridge Programs for your students?