Faculty Advisor

Cyr, Martha

Faculty Advisor

Gericke, Arne


In January 2016, the state of Massachusetts introduced a modified version of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a set of learning goals for science in K-12 education, as the new standards for teaching science in the state. These standards emphasize a more skill based style of student evaluation. Therefore, a project based learning (PBL) approach was proposed as an alternative to meet the new standards. A six-day project based NGSS compliant lesson plan on the topic of ecosystems was developed and tested in Jessica McDermott’s eighth grade science class of Forest Grove Middle School in Worcester, MA. The numerical data and in-class observations by the teacher and us suggested that PBL could be an effective method in teaching ecosystems in middle school based on the new standards.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2016

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry