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Project Based Learning

Collage of kids working on painting, cutting wood, and holding ocean signs.

We know that high levels of satisfaction are related to providing students with the autonomy to explore topics of their choosing in ways that make them feel most comfortable and competent. This is Project Based Learning (PBL). There are no pre-determined answers or products; just an essential question to be answered.

At the beginning of each school year, our seventh and eighth graders select groups based on a topic and essential question that interests them. Groups meet weekly to problem-solve what they want and need to learn about in order to develop a deeper understanding of their essential question, such as:

  • How can we protect and support Oahu's companion animal population?
  • How can we use filmmaking to positively enhance our community?
  • How can we create a sustainable fashion future?
  • How can we promote physical health and wellness in our school community?
  • How can we empower women in the Assets community through self-defense knowledge and training?
  • How can we sustain the unique culture, character, and history of Hawaii?
  • How can we use portrait photography to teach people about the Assets School community?
  • How can we sustain our community by helping others?

At year's end, Assets hosts a PBL Expo for family and friends to showcase the fruit of their labors, which take various formats: performances, movies, hands-on activities, simulations and presentations. 

Students own their learning in meaningful ways throughout the process, which is even more important than the end product.