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FLEDGLING EDISONS: ’Busco students try their hands at inventing

January 30, 2012

Churubusco students work on their invention project. From left to right, are Carly Bonar, Elaine Horn, Noah Stucker and Alex Sylvester. — Post & Mail photo / Robin R. Plasterer

COLUMBIA CITY — Eighth grade students are ‘Minding their businesses.’
For the first time, Churubusco Junior High School students are taking part in a Project Based Learning (PBL) situation entitled “Mind Your Business.”
Math teacher Jennifer Galloway heads up the program.
“I took a PBL workshop and the other teachers came aboard,” said Galloway.
Teaching the English part of the project is Vanessa Wyss. Rod Strayer teaches social studies and Laura Foss teaches the scientific method of the PBL project.
“We have 96 students working on this project,” said Galloway.
“PBL is a new initiative. We are teaching new methods with new outcomes. We put the students in groups of four and gave them the opportunity to let the kids learn on their own,” said Galloway.
The students came up with inventions. That was the easy part. They also had to come up with a business and marketing plan and they had to build a prototype of their inventions.
“One of the hardest challenges is to physically build it,” said Galloway.
The students will give their final presentations from 9 a.m. to noon on March 10 in the CJSH library. The public is invited.
With this project came a lot of paperwork. Each student had to sign contracts to make sure they understood the task list, group constitution, absence policy, work policy, leadership and member dismissal.
The students were inspired to work on this project after they heard Steve Franks speak to them earlier in January.
Franks is from the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center in Fort Wayne. He is instrumental in the entrepreneurships program. He invited the students to the Youth Entrepreneur Symposium (YES) on March 20, which is a $2,500 investment.

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