Atlanta Project Based Learning Initiative Promotes the Preservation of Scenic Landscapes by Empowering High School Students to Lead and Impact Their Communities

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Message to the Future Foundation’s purpose is to bring awareness of the importance to protect scenic landscapes. M2TF accomplishes this in the classroom as they provide teachers, high school students, and organizations with project-based learning tools and activities that help their mission and develop important skills students need to succeed in the twenty-first century work place.

Imagine being thrust out of your comfort zone to be a part of a learning experience that also beautifies your community. The thirty-two students who participated in Message to the Future’s (M2TF) flagship scenic landscape project were put in just that position. Unlike their normal classroom experience, M2TF challenged them to work collaboratively with their teachers who served only as coaches. The results: A project that is memorialized in Columbus, Georgia’s city hall and more respect for the landscapes that make the city home and a tourist attraction. Moreover, the students have amassed community service hours to document on their college applications.

M2TF in partnership with Teacher’s Ignite, an organization that “inspires student-centered classrooms” created a project based learning curriculum (approved by the state) that took the students out of the classroom and into the city. Students were challenged to create artwork depicting natural scenes in Columbus. They formed their own committees: art, technology, and marketing. From the group, student team leaders were chosen to manage the project from conception to completion.

From their newly launched website, M2TF provides educators and students with tool kits to create their own projects. Included in the provided resources are videos featuring the students and teachers of the Northside High School pilot, as well as other instructive presentations that explain the project and its processes.

Robert “Bobbo” Jetmundsen of the Message to the Future Foundation, Atlanta, founded M2TF. Interested students or teachers are urged to contact M2TF at info(at)m2tf(dot)org. Some small grant funding may be available to assist in jumpstarting a project.


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