I teach HS chemistry and would like to integrate PBL into the book work that we are required to fulfill. Does anyone have ideas for generating a chemistry project that would result in service or reports to outside parties?
Don't know if the question is still at issue. I just joined this Ning. There can be many ways that you might connect content to world context.
1. Consider beginning with listing the key concepts the students need to have as a result of the work. The lists will become the quality control guide to insure that the project focus stays targeted.
2. Ask yourself, "Why is this important to know?" You may need to do this a couple of times after each answer. Generally this leads to uncovering the connection between the rigor of the concepts with the world outside of the classroom--for the business world and that of students. It's here where you'll find the ideas for service and reports to outside parties. Here's an example.
There are many good sites with project ideas and explanations. Here's a page with a list of such sites.
Some of the best PBL plans that are available in public domain are on West Virginia's Teach 21 site. Go here - http://tinyurl.com/2d7ykva on use the drop down menu to find your content and grade level. Check back often - they update with some amazing plans. Reading these plans will give you great ideas and a launching point. Also, go to The Buck Institute of Education's PBL page to learn more. http://www.bie.org/index.php If you are reallly serious, you might order their Starter Kit book for around $25. It's a resource any PBL teacher must have!
I facilitate PBL in our 5-12 school in all subject areas. A number of our courses are interdisciplinary. Believe me, I live, eat, and breathe PBL! Good luck with your work in Chemistry!