Case Studies of Students' Experiences in a Project­-Based Learning Environment

Student Author(s)

Regan Jekkals
Chris Kruger

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Stephen C. Scogin

Document Type


Event Date



Students’ lack of motivation for school is a concern in K­12 education. Almost 50% of dropouts list lack of interest as one of their primary reasons for leaving school (Bridgeland, Dilulio, & Morison, 2006). In response, some programs have been developed in recent years to engage students in authentic learning. STREAM is an innovative middle school program in western Michigan that uses the outdoors and project­based learning to engage and educate students in science, technology, reading, engineering, art and mathematics. Using cross­case comparisons and survey data, this study investigated students’ attitudes about the program. Quantitative survey data were collected from 57 students, and 19 students participated in semi­structured interviews. Overall, the majority of students from the sample had positive attitudes toward the program. Cross-case comparisons revealed that students had positive attitudes about the program for different reasons, and specific aspects of the program affected student attitudes differently.


This research was supported by the Nyenhuis Award from the Howard and Margaret Sluyter Fund.

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