The students will be able to identify patterns and graphs of functions in architecture, art and the world around them. Once they make the mathematical connections, the students will be able design and create their own art work by applying concepts involved in graphing functions.

Students will analyze how societal norms and historical events reflect and affect one another. Furthermore, students will examine how literature serves as a vehicle to distill and disseminate historical and societal events as they directly affect individuals. The expected outcome is that (click thumbnail for more)

This project has students explore the operations of museums, seeing how they function, how artifacts are curated, and how visitors are managed. This project helps students learn World History as they connect with the process of museum operations.

​​Speaking of Blood, published January 23, 2018

Oceanographers Adrift, published February 2, 2018

This project was essentially a cooking competition between two groups of students in Culinary 1 second semester.  The students divided themselves up into groups on their own. Each group was given the same ingredients  and instructed to produce an appetizer, entrée & dessert in a 1.5 hour time frame​ (click thumbnail for more).

Participants enter a vacant wilderness base camp (Lost Colony concept) and have to discover clues as to the apparent fate of the previous campers. Communicable disease clues are inserted into the belongings and site. Participants must discover what could have possibly happened to the campers (click thumbnail for more). 

Advanced Programming students create either 1) a website,  or 2) an app for a local business. Students learn how to work with a professional organization to help them expand or promote their business. Students used  http://shscode.org.

Disease and ME!, published June 7, 2018

Our Plastic Ocean, published June 4, 2018

Real Stories Behind Immigration, published June 11, 2018

What Does It Mean to be a Packer?, published May 21, 2018

​​Why do so many great works of literature have unhappy endings? In this project, students work collaboratively to deeply understand what makes a story engaging for its audience. Through their in depth analyses of short stories in the literary canon, students explore the components of a short story, with particular emphasis on resolution. To put their learning to the test, students work in a combination of flexible groups to produce a multimedia 'choose your own adventure story,' with the goal of garnering the most support for their story path from an authentic audience. 

The Bridging the Gap Project paired seniors in high school English with senior citizens at the local nursing home. Students interviewed the residents for historic narratives and created a book that shared those stories and included the students' own reflections on what they learned from the residents about history and life lessons in general. 

Students will investigate the bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that are found on something they touch/handle every day: their cell phones! Students will work with other group members to culture and grow bacteria (and other microorganisms) found on their cell phones. In the process, they will discover/research where these microorganisms are (click thumbnail for more).

Turner & 10, A Culinary Online Presence, published June 15, 2018

Hayden's Lane Gets Artsy, published February 2, 2018

Plastics long life span and the fact that instead of breaking down, it breaks up (into smaller pieces) makes plastic waste a threat to our plant. Through our PBL Unit students will have the opportunity to learn about the effects of plastics in our ocean, its effect on marine animals, birds, humans, and our environments. This will be a public awareness campaign to bring attention (click thumbnail for more).

Oyster Restoration for the Chesapeake Bay, published February 21, 2018

​​Packer Pig Tales, published February 1, 2017

During this project, students investigate misconceptions between cultures regarding citizenship and immigration issues. Immigration is one of the most controversial and inflammatory issues in America today. It is local, state and national issue. Much of the emotion is driven by misperceptions, misinformation and derogatory stereotypes.

This project will enable students to perceive history through the eyes of some of the most prominent philosophers of the Enlightenment era including John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Baron de Montesquieu, and Voltaire. Through research and application, the students will (click thumbnail for more).

This project began with a project launch survey asking my students about their experiences as a Packer at Smithfield High School. The questionnaire asked them to reflect on their extra-curricular activities, favorite subjects, favorite teachers, and any special memory they had about the school. We spent the class period laughing and reminiscing, especially since the class is full of (click thumbnail for more).

Students designed and constructed and presented paper roller coasters hoping to have the coaster with the greatest timed "ride". A marble travelled through the twists and turns of the coasters. Groups presented the physics of their coasters as well as what was similar and unique about their coaster with respect to the other coasters. Mr. Elliott videoed the presentations. Fun was had by all!

​​The Legacy Project, published January 17, 2017

Let Me Take a Selfie published May 21, 2018

Additional resources:

Everyone uses soap, hopefully. This project allows students to investigate chemical reactions, hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties, acids and bases, organic molecules and lab safety and procedures while producing something useful and fun. 

The theme is to connect data collection and analysis to the real world, determine how data is used in a variety of careers, and discuss the importance of the information gathered from the data. The students researched data used in various career fields and selected a career that interested (click thumbnail for more).

A Human's Purpose: Advocating for Animal Rights, published May 20, 2018

This project promotes social activism and help students understand how to influence the making of public policy. 

This is a regional-specific, community-relevant project. Much of the economy (tourism and industry) of the Tidewater area is dependent on the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Students need to be aware of their impact on the Chesapeake Bay through, for example, industry, farming, urbanization & resource consumption.

Functional Stained Glass, published June 14, 2018

Faces of Smithfield, published February 2, 2018

Project IDEATE, published May 21, 2018

Additional resources:

To beautify downtown Smithfield and create more pride in Isle of Wight through painted benches. In this project, students translated the history of Smithfield into visuals on benches.

Additional resources:

What Does It Mean to be an American?, published June 18, 2018

​​A Colonial Christmas Concert, published January 23, 2018

The Honors Biology students' goal was to encourage the public to make lifelong investments in maintaining the food webs in our local area. By understanding the importance of oysters in the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, they will become better stewards of the oyster and its shell. 

Time After Time, published June 14, 2018

The 'Day at the Museum' project is completed every year in collaboration between our AP Euro and AP US History classes. After a short intro to the project itself, the teachers break down the timeline and rubric so that the students know the expectations from the very onset of the assignment. The first thing that students are asked to do is to select a historical figure (click thumbnail for more). 

Additional resources:

Roller Coaster Project, published May 24, 2018

The Meditation Project, published February 16 2018

6 Word Data Connection, published May 20, 2018

Voices of Inspiration and Hope for Any Society, published January 28, 2018

Additional resources:

Additional resources:

​​Advance Placement European History Students learn about the importance of historical legacies through the study of The Reformation Era. 

In this project, students created skits about the Greek and Roman contributions and how they made Ancient Greece and Rome a better place to live. They also connected these contributions to how and why they have helped society today.

Through the Eyes of the Enlightenment, published May 20, 2018

Packers: Winning at Losing, published May 20, 2018

The Last Night, published May 30, 2018

Students read Young Adult novels and created professional critiques for these novels. Students created a functional website (turnerorburner.com), edited, and promoted the website on several social media platforms.

Students researched, selected, learned and performed Christmas music of the Colonial era or earlier at the Historic St. Luke's Church in Smithfield, VA. This project helped students connect the music of the past to their local community.

​​Packer Pig Tales is a creative writing project where students wrote stories for a younger audience that spotlighted historical facts about their hometown, Smithfield, VA.

Duke-opoly, published June 15, 2018

Additional resources:

In this project, students research the facts about immigration and dispel some of the stereotypes. The driving question was, "Why do people from Spanish speaking countries immigrate to US?"

Turner or Burner, published June 14, 2018

Additional resources:

SHS Talks, published June 15, 2018

Communicable Disease - Escape Room, published June 15, 2018

Students researched the Holocaust and learned why it is still a relevant and occurring event in history and today. Students began by analyzing the personal histories of Holocaust survivors. We deepened this analysis by taking a field trip to the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, where (click thumbnail for more).

How Tall Is It?, published May 20, 2018

Dispelling Fake News - Immigration Stereotypes, published May 28, 2018

The theme of the project is to build tolerance and compassion for others in a society that needs a voice of inspiration and hope. This project uses the novel "Night" to specifically point out the fact that some can be voices of compassion and tolerance even if others are not.

Are the ideals of being American inherent to all who are born, live, or have immigrated to the United States, or are these ideals being lost or eroded among the ‘’noise’’ (social, economic, political upheaval) of this age? Students will engage the school and the surrounding community (click thumbnail for more). 

Dispelling Fake News - Truth About Immigration, published June 11, 2018

Students explored various land uses through hands-on and on-site investigations to determine how the use affects groundwater. 

This project is meant to put into practice multiple modules of instruction for year one thru four for cadets in the JROTC program. Examples are public speaking, first aid, management, planning and communicating in order to execute a major event. Cadets work on different levels to market, plan, track, organize, manage, coordinate and execute multiple high school blood drives. The project links cadets to their community, faculty and students within the high school and allows for direct communication with the American Red Cross.

The CTE program provides benefits to PBLs from K-thru-12th grade by:​​


  • Embracing Career & Technical Education as important for all students, not restricting it to those high-schoolers who are sharpening specific career skills
  • Maximizing the investment in CTE materials & equipment by sharing it for PBLs
  • Extending know-how and involvement of community members, businesses and trades personnel beyond traditional CTEs, into richly designed and executed PBLs

The next time you think about getting a tattoo, you might want to consider what you are putting into your body. It could be such elements as Mercury, Lead, Titanium, Copper, and Carbon. These are just a few of the ingredients in the ink that tattoo artists use. Despite the toxic nature of these elements, the practice is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (click thumbnail for more).

H I G H   S C H O O L  -  52 Projects Displayed by Date Published!

Westside Cutting Edge, published February 2, 2018

Communicable Disease - Lost Colony, published June 15, 2018

English 9 freshman students created a Duke-opoly board game about our High School courses, sports, activities, and events. The purpose of the game was to introduce and promote school culture, knowledge and unity by integrating the school’s GREAT citizen goal of promoting G-Growth, R-Respect, E-Empathy, A-Accountability, and T-Trustworthiness. The students (click thumbnail for more). 

​​Early Latin Readers, published January 25, 2018

​​Making Life Better Since the B.C., published January 23, 2018

Skin Deep, published June 14, 2018

​​The Negative Effects of Labeling, published January 23, 2018

Students created a wellness challenge using faculty and staff. Clients will come in every week for a wellness check consisting of blood pressure, pulse, respiration check, weight, BMI and BF% measurements. Health and Wellness tips were displayed weekly in the school newsletter. At the end of the semester a male and female winner was chosen and received a prize​ (click thumbnail for more).

Students design, cost and produce room signs for Westside Elementary School. This is a service project to help a school that most of the participating students have attended.

​​It Belongs in a Museum, published January 23, 2018

The theme of the project is self-awareness through community awareness. This project is designed to analyze how our community (the people and the history) can shape and inspire our goals and dreams. “I am everyday people.”

Geometry students were tasked with creating a Graphic Novel around the following topics: Points-Lines-Plains, Logic, Parallel Lines and Transversals, Classifying Triangles, Triangle Inequalities and Polygons, Congruent Triangles, Similar Triangles, Right Triangles, Circles, Solids, and Quadrilaterals /Parallelograms. Students were not only (click thumbnail for more).

Students selected a Spanish Speaking country and researched immigration statistics and famous immigrants in order to create a presentation product. Students had to address, "Immigrants; who are they, where are they coming from and why?"

The theme of this project deals with the reasons why people think it is acceptable to negatively label others and the consequences of labeling. The students read short stories and books that focus on how and why people are unfairly labeled. Also, the class took a field trip to the Holocaust Museum in Richmond, VA.

Got Germs, published June 11, 2018

Understanding Geometry through Literature, published June 18, 2018

“How fast do I need something to move to make a chain reaction?” was the driving question for this project, and one which each student approached differently. To create tangible examples of related rates in the study of derivatives within Calculus, students used a Rube Goldberg machine, proving that math indeed can be fun! 

Additional resources:

Throughout the novel, the main character (a dog), is reincarnated over and over until he is able to discover his purpose, which is to be companion to man. While exploring the many different “lives” of animals, using this text, students will discover and explore their own purpose in serving justice and becoming the voice for animals. We will use the text as a springboard to investigate ​the many different “perspectives” of animal life ​(click thumbnail for more).

Geometry Graphic Novels, published June 6, 2018

Bridging the Gap, published February 23, 2018

Additional resources:

Isle of Wight Chopped, published May 20, 2018

Students researched their element from the Periodic Table of Elements for the usual information needed for Chemistry and more. Then they researched the uses in the real world for the element. Through this project, students were able to demonstrate how the element affects everyday life, becoming much more than just a symbol in a scientific chart! 

The project theme is to discover/learn information about disease identification and transmission through an interactive and exploratory learning experience. Students will engage the content by exploring information sources located in the classroom and collaborating to discover clues (click thumbnail for more). 

Students began this project by writing a fictional newspaper article detailing a traffic fatality that they are involved in. Upon completion of this article, students wrote their own eulogy, highlighting their accomplishments in their brief lives.

Additional resources:

Students will research and investigate the geologic history of IOWC so that they may explain why land dinosaurs are not found in the Earth layers of thirea. Students need a firm understand of the geologic history of the coastal plain in comparison to the other provinces of Virginia (click thumbnail for more).

In this Latin III class students created stories that would be comprehensible for beginning Latin students. To that end, students needed to use a high number of repetitions of key vocabulary and simplified grammatical situations, while still creating a story that was interesting enough that high school students would wish to read it..

Additional resources:

Are You Woke?, published May 20, 2018

Students tried to find the dirtiest areas of the school that we (students and staff) regularly come in contact with. We chose places that we "touch" with our hands frequently and then ranked all the areas we tested from 1 to 12 (with 1 being the dirtiest, 12 being the cleanest).

Responsible Land Use, published February 27, 2018

​​Gone Too Soon, published January 23, 2018

The Chemistry of Clean, published May 31, 2018

Watch how Isle of Wight County Schools emphasizes CTEs.

High school students were challenged to teach elementary students geometric concepts through literature. The students created stories to help younger students grasp geometry. As a lasting impact of the project, the books were printed and donated to the elementary schools for ongoing student and teacher use!​ 

Day at the Museum, published June 15, 2018

Students tracked the benefits of meditation of the teenage brain throughout the month of October. Students began meditating every morning gradually increasing in time. Eventually students meditated for 20 minutes per session. Data supported evidence that meditation decreased stress, anxiety, depression, and symptoms of PTSD, while increasing benefits in sleep, attendance, empathy, compassion, and academic performance.

​​Experiment with Endings, published December 16, 2016

Dino Remains Found - FAKE NEWS!, published June 14, 2018

Elements in the Classroom and the Real World, published June 9, 2018

For this project, students will be divided into groups to work collaboratively on developing a website to be used by the culinary arts department for receiving and filling orders for customers. Students considered how to our High School’s Culinary Arts program and all of the wonderful foods they prepare.

Students organized SHS Talks, a form of TED talks, and then they presented their own research at the SHS Talks. Integral to each presentation, students conveyed "What is the individual's responsibility to the community?"

Students make and learn to use a clinometer to estimate heights of tall objects. Students use the clinometer in a practical way, cruising timber to estimate board feet in a sample of trees. A timber cruise involves calculating the merchantable height (part that is marketable) of a sample of trees (click thumbnail for more)

Additional resources: