Project-Based Learning Activities Turn Students into Experts

For seniors taking Charleston Collegiate School’s year-long Exhibition of Mastery program, individually created scholarly projects require problem-solving, researching, and presentation skills. Supported by a team of faculty, outside advisors, and students, seniors become experts on their topics, and the results are examined and evaluated in a unique, public demonstration of knowledge—symposium-style exhibitions before the CCS community.

This year’s wide-ranging projects include one from Carolina Champlin-Pierce, who took her artistic passion and transformed it into Carolina’s Custom Creations, a philanthropic business in which she custom paints any object—from coolers to Christmas ornaments—and donates 10% of her monthly profit to a local charity.

Brittany Phillips focused on inequality between men and women in the workplace by organizing a Women’s Week at school. Male and female students participated in different events each day to learn more about why inequality exists and how they can help eradicate disparities. Activities included a documentary viewing, presentations by female speakers, a video-making contest about gender inequality, and reflection discussions.

Gabe Rodrigo chose to create a full-length documentary about poverty in Appalachia, where he’s from. “I wanted to shine a light on the region,” he says, “because I want to bring change to the area and change the stereotypical ways in which people see my home.”

“The Exhibition of Master program is a cornerstone of project-based learning at CCS,” says Headmaster Hacker Burr. “Every year, we see the Senior Exhibition thrive when students become fully immersed in a particular area of study while also honing their skills in academic study, communication, and presentation.”

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