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Mancos project-based learning exhibition scheduled for April

Mancos plans to showcase its project-based learning system on April 26.
Exhibition showcases what students and staff are doing in the district’s project-based learning system

The Mancos RE-6 school district will host a spring exhibition to showcase its students’ project-based learning projects, products and presentations from the second semester of the school year on April 26 in the Performing Arts Center. The time is still to be determined.

This exhibition, according to Mancos PBL director and Instructional coach Adyan Farrar, will be held in partnership with the school’s winter 2023 celebration of learning, which was held in December.

Students from all grades will be part of the exhibition.

“The exhibitions are a time when our entire campus comes together to highlight our shared commitment to providing students with an engaging high-quality education,” Farrar said.

Mancos schools’ project-based learning system is “founded on the principle that we learn better when we are engaged in challenging, real-world activities in which we have a choice and a voice, when we are given chances to seek out and use constructive feedback, when we revise our thinking and reflect on our learning and when we are able to make our work public,” Farrar said. “With these core principles in mind, PBL products are intended to be authentic.”

Farrar compared a “dessert” project with. a “meal” project. Dessert projects may be cute, fluffy and fun, but students don’t learn valuable skills by making a dessert project.

A meal project takes hard work, dedication and application, and students learn values and information they will take with them. PBL aims to help students create meal projects over dessert.

“As we continue to grow in our PBL practices, we are working toward the students using their own voices to speak to their audience,” Farrar said.

Right now, the exhibition is mostly teacher-driven, but the district aims to build on student participation and projects in coming years.

Next year, the goal is to continue the Exhibitions as a showcase of what teachers and students are doing across the campus, while also having smaller content or grade-specific student presentations,” Farrar said.

People who attend the exhibition can see student projects in various stages of completion.

“The hope is that, through the exhibition, our community can get a sense of what students do when they are in the center of their own learning,” Farrar said. ”We had great parent and community turnout for last December's celebration, and we are hoping for an even bigger crowd this year.”

This year’s exhibition will be held the day of the Mancos High School track meet, and the district hopes for crossover traffic from the two events.