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Dave Olson, Published March 12 2014

Educator says project-based learning helps students prepare for modern life

FARGO – The question is an important one for educators and business operators: What will tomorrow’s jobs require from today’s students?

Michelle Weber believes bosses will look for workers conversant in the “four critical Cs” – critical thinking, communication, creative problem solving and collaboration.

These skills “play a huge role in what we’re trying to do in West Fargo,” said Weber, an assistant principal at West Fargo’s Liberty Middle School and luncheon speaker Wednesday at a business summit in Fargo and hosted by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

Weber said educators are focused on fostering mindsets that allow students to achieve all they are capable of achieving.

Those mindsets, she added, include a belief that everything is possible, that the time to do things is now, and the idea that there is more than one right answer to a given problem.

A powerful tool in achieving the latter, Weber said, is project-based learning, something she said West Fargo students are accomplished at doing.

She told a story about one group of students who received national attention for creating a cellphone app that pulls up the locations of nearby recycling bins, and provides their hours of operation and what type of items they will accept.

With today’s approach to education and their embrace of technology, nothing will be impossible for young people who set their minds to a problem or goal, Weber said.

“Students will be living their dreams. Students will be doing whatever it is they’re passionate about.

“We do think we can change the world,” Weber said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555