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Transcript: Shiteng's SMOB Speech on Project Based Learning

Good Morning, my name is Shiteng Jaden Wang and I am a sophomore, running to be your next student member of the board.

MCPS is one of the better-developed counties in America, but we still suffer from issues like the ever-increasing achievement gap and illnesses such asdepression and anxiety. We are also plagued by old teaching methods that dates back centuries. I plan to implement a policy into MCPS that will make us the pioneers of a new form of learning - Project Based Learning.

Previous SMOBs have had ambitious goals that lacked forward-thinking. Goals that were unobtainable within the time constraints of a single SMOB term. Therefore, for my long-term objectives such as the introduction of Project Based Learning, my angle of approach is to lay down the groundwork for these projects during my term. This will allow future SMOBs to fully implement these improvements into our system seamlessly.

Despite the increased effectiveness of the Progress Checks, they still do not accurately represent our achievements as students. With the introduction of the Progress Checks and the removal of semester exams, teachers still find ways to bypass these restrictions. Simply speaking, very big tests and quizzes. With Project Learning, tests will eventually be replaced with student led labs and investigations. This revolutionary system will help answer the age old question, when will calculus ever be relevant in my life.

Studies show that Project Based Learningdecreases stressdue to the reduced amounts of homework and tests. No more long hours of sitting inside solving countless problems when you could be in the field gathering experience that will help you become ready for, not only careers, but the real world. This form of instruction also lowers rates of arrest and substance abuse. In addition, students gain social-emotional skills that rank among those most prized by employers.

My implementation of project learning will bring about new ways to combat the achievement gap. According to KQED News, “When researchers analyzed test scores from those classrooms by students’ gender and ethnicity, there were no differences in learning performance”. This is a huge indication that project learning will be able to help narrow the achievement gap especially for students from low-income backgrounds and underrepresented ethnic, gender, and racial groups in STEM fields.

Albert Einstein once said,“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”The world is changing fast and our school system is lagging behind. The most important thing that schools should provide a student with is an effective method of teaching, thus the school system must endure change. Why not start here, right in MCPS.

Thank you.

Speech delivered: 02/24/2018 11:30 AM

Shiteng did not win the SMOB election of 2018. His campaign ended on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. However, we will continue to fight for the quality and the correct approach of education.