Windward School is a dynamic college-preparatory school that challenges each student to achieve excellence in a nurturing, inclusive community. Windward teachers, parents, and administrators work together to inspire our students to be responsible, caring, well informed, ethical, prepared, and well balanced young adults.

Windward School

Los Angeles, California

Every February, Windward 7th graders work on projects to improve the environment in their communities using challenge based learning, a collaborative learning experience in which teachers and students work together to take action by proposing real world solutions to problems. CBL is a great way to introduce new students to Windward’s model of active learning and inquiry based science. It also teaches students the skills for successful collaboration that they will carry with them throughout their years at Windward.

Through a series of science labs, guest speakers, and film clips, students participate in three weeks of activities to learn more about their challenge at hand. Students utilize social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter — @WindwardCBL — and a website & live blog, to share the research and results from their projects, and present their final projects to the community at Windward’s annual CBL Community Forum in May.

Summer 2015 OnCUE •
Jim Bologna and Julie Gunther

“Picture it: At the front desk, a group of students are on the phone with the Los Angeles mayor’s office discussing grey water legislation; in the front of the classroom, a student is on a Skype call with a local amphibian rescue organization making plans for their upcoming City Council presentation; at a lab bench, a handful of students are working in TinkerCad to develop a 3D printed scale model of their car design; behind them, students are producing a video to promote their upcoming sea lion rehabilitation supply drive. All across the classroom, students are working collaboratively to develop and implement solutions to real problems. This is but a typical day inside the Challenge Based Learning (CBL) classroom, and it’s a big reason why we’re so excited about it.”