Interdisciplinary Projects


An example of a cross-curricular project for the 9th grade cohort….

For the Wind Turbine unit, the cross-curriculum, collaboration and synergies are amazing…   in the past, I have been part of a Finance Academy, but the core courses were not truly collaborative and the cohort moved from English to Economics with little synergy and the curriculum units were not truly divided and taught by several teachers. The MERIT Academy does strive to be interdisciplinary and truly collaborative. Students will build on what they were inspired by in their English Academy class (students read the autobiography: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind; about a boy, living through drought and famine, who creates a windmill from a junk yard and enriches his family farm in Africa… and as a result, had his own Ted Talk and was a sensation across Africa). In the MERIT math class, students will be building their own wind turbines and will utilize 10 3D printers and have access to a wind tunnel (thanks to Cal State Channel Islands, Project ASSESSO and the Great Inventors Program – Thank you CSUCI)! In their Introduction to Engineering Design PLTW class, students are learning to design and create isometric sketches in their journals and will learn to use CAD/ 3D solid modeling in inventor.

(A note about the new common core math – The Integrated Math Common Core Practices lend themselves to project based units, which is ideal for partnering with the PLTW Engineering courses, as well as the English and Science courses. Math is often at its best in a project based unit; the Math MERIT class will also launch model rockets, build toothpick bridges, etc…   students learn to love math and see it as a tool, students will understand that math is the language of science – not just something to suffer through and survive. Students should be able to put problem solving in context with real world projects and group work and relevancy should be emphasized; students should be able to justify solutions. Students should not just solve an equation but be able to come up with the equation and plausible parameters and constraints based on a project or real world problem.)

image2image1Wind Turbine Blades-cropped-002