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2017 Follett Challenge Grand Prize Chase County Elementary

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| Case Study 2017 GRAND PRIZE WINNER Calves, Kids, Community: Kansas project-based learning program teaches 21st-century skills in a unique way. The students at Chase County Elementary School in Strong City, Kansas, are learning valuable lessons in math, science, collaboration, communication and problem solving through innovative methods guaranteed to rival any big-city high-tech program. Rachel Matile is just one of the many teachers at the school using project-based learning to teach job-like skills students will use in college and careers. Matile's fifth grade class was recently named the Grand Prize winner in the 2017 Follett Challenge, and their program is an inspiring story. Matile's students purchase, raise and sell calves to earn a profit, all the while learning with the help of the community, the use of technology and creative approaches to solving problems.The school took home the $60,000 prize for their "Learning with Cattle" program. Why project-based learning? As educators at Chase County Elementary School set out to find new ways to teach real-world, 21st-century skills, project- based learning seemed to be a perfect fit. The new approach would allow teachers to get kids out of desks and outside, interacting with the community and working collaboratively while learning standards-based lessons. Matile's program is just one of its kind at the school. Another class is caring for chickens and selling the eggs to the community, while another raises locally purchased pigs, which they'll later auction off at a high school basketball game. Other classrooms have projects with a nonagriculture focus. Some students run a recycling program for the school. Another class hosts a store where students can purchase goods before and after school, while kindergartners study eagles and use tape measures to find the diameter of the eagle nests in preparation to later create an actual-size nest in the playground's woodchips. Some students are learning about the prairie ecosystem by experiencing pasture burning, and others are fighting the Battle of Bunker Hill on the playground as they study the Revolutionary War. The entire school, Matile explained, has a hands-on approach to learning. Together, Matile and her students decided to enter their "Learning with Cattle" program into the Follett Challenge. CHASE COUNTY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STRONG CITY, KANSAS

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