August 13

Students looking for feedback – PBL and Environmental Science

I have been using #PBL with high school students to explore topics in Environmental Science. Two students have just completed an investigation into the Emerald Ash Borer and its devastating impact on ash trees in the United States. They would love for a broad audience to give them feedback on their work, which may be found at The Emerald Ash Borer: Tiny insect, huge impact. Please leave your comments on this blog post.

Thank you!


Based on your feedback, the students modified their website to reflect a more complete picture of the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer. Please visit their site again, as they would appreciate further feedback. They have also set up a Twitter account (@SayNotoEAB) and broadcast the link. They would appreciate a lot of re-tweets.

Thank you!



Posted August 13, 2014 by inspirepassion in category Deeper Learning, PBL

About the Author

I am a process-focused leader who uses collaboration, authenticity, and mentoring as key skills to inspire passion among learners of all ages. Aggregate eclectic professional experiences have honed my ability to coach others in designing and implementing courses of study using inquiry-/project-based learning (PBL).

14 thoughts on “Students looking for feedback – PBL and Environmental Science

  1. Amber Malone

    Very professional. Interesting.
    I didn’t know about the insecticide harming the bees. It is also good to know that an increase of birds are eating the EAB larvae.
    Should we save seeds? Are scientist working on a EAB resistant tree?
    I thought your slide-show was a little fast. Maybe you two should put your names on this project.
    Excellent job.

    1. Daniel Josefchak

      Hi! I’m one of the students that developed this website. Thanks for the feedback.

      I don’t know if you should save seeds, but you might as well. You have nothing to lose. 🙂

      Scientists are working on a resistant tree, but with how much hybridization and experimentation they use, it could be a long time before that project is complete.

  2. Daniel Bassill

    Very interesting, informative and well presented. I hope that these or future students will update this presentation annually, with new information showing treatment, progress toward cures, actions that others can take, etc. Perhaps adding a Google community or some other forum where people interested in this topic could gather would be useful.

    1. Daniel Josefchak

      Hi! I’m one of the students that developed this website. Thanks for the feedback. We’ll take this into consideration.

  3. Community Trees Program, Morton Arboretum

    This is a great looking website. With a little work on some of the information, you will have a viable site!

    Most of the information provided on the site pretty much correct, but you do need to adjust your some of your text including your “treatment” page.
    – Ash trees are wind pollinated, there is not an interaction with bees for pollen dissemination.
    – I think you me Eamectin benzoate not Abamectin.
    – I would use a cost/inch diameter rather than a straight price since $400 is arbitrary
    – Please note that treating an ash tree IS effective if applied to healthy or slightly stressed trees
    – In generally you use xylem tissues, but I think you mean phloem.
    – EAB has dramatically changed ecosystems where ash trees, like black ash, are a main component. The insects associated with ash are also impacted by the loss of ash.

    Looking through your bibliography I think it might be helpful for you to visit :, as well as

    Good Luck!

    1. inspirepassion (Post author)

      Thank you very much for your helpful feedback. Involvement of community experts such as yourself in reviewing student work is critical to the success of project-based learning efforts. I hope in the future we will have an opportunity to work with the Morton Arboretum more closely, and seek your expertise during the project development lifecycle.

      The students will also respond to your comments when we reconvene our class in early September.

      Thank you!

    2. Daniel Josefchak

      Hi! I’m one of the students that developed this website. Thank you so much for this feedback. We’ll work on updating our information and bibliography.

  4. Liam Bayer

    There is a lot of great data that the students have collected and are presenting on the website. If I were a community member, the most important statistic for me would have been the $515K price tag that it cost in 2013. I wonder if there could be a summary of findings, or a graphic or infographic that could highlight the main findings, and scope and intention of the website on the Home page. Some emphasis on audience could be helpful here. It would also be great to know who the students are and where they are from. This might help to answer why they focused on Chicago, or is the Chicago area the place where this is the greatest problem or where there is the most data. Great job! I really like that you and your students are publishing this online and sharing this important information. Are there any intentions to have any advocacy efforts stem from this? What are the next steps?

    1. Daniel Josefchak

      Hi! I’m one of the students that developed this website. Thanks for the feedback. We did not have intentions to continue with this project, but you are the second person now to suggest it, so we will take it into consideration.

  5. Terry Elliott

    So useful and informative. We have had a project in our county to put up ‘purple’ traps for the ash borer. They have been trying to see if the ash borers are moving into our area. Yes, they are. It is sad to think of the loss of these magnificent trees.

    You are providing a real service here, but you need to promote your site so that others can be made aware. I will tell you that this kind of ‘marketing’ is very tough but your project is worth knowing about much more widely. I will certainly spread the word.

    If you are looking for other questions to ask I think the most important one is whether this infestation is indicative of a larger problem in the ecosystem. I know from personal experience on my own woodlot and from neighbors that we are having an infestation of the red ant in our red oak populations. I think that this is a larger problem brought on by drought stress, pollution, global climate change. You might explore the larger implications of this. Researchers are always looking for big concepts in little research. Perhaps the ash are like the famous ‘canaries” in the mines.

    Love what you have done. Promote it. Explore research on Google Scholar. Good on ya.

    1. Ryan Malone

      Hi, I am one of the students that worked on this project. From what our research has found the outbreak is not from a larger problem in the environment.

    2. inspirepassion (Post author)

      Terry, I love Google Scholar. The problem is our modestly-sized group cannot afford subscriptions to the scholarly databases, which severely limits the accessible sources. What workarounds do you know of?

  6. swatson217

    This feedback is for the Emerald Ash Borer project. First of all, great job, students! The information in your site is really thorough and well organized. It is not too cluttered, has a very clean, professional look to it and is pleasing to the eye. I particularly found the multimedia parts of the site to be helpful. They add good visual and auditory components so that the information is more easily understood. I only have two suggestions. First would be to put a picture of the Emerald Ash Borer onto the header that now has a photo of the forest. I just think a picture of the worm might grab the reader better and the reader would immediately know what the article was about. And second, I think it would be helpful to use more text features in your informational paragraphs, such as bullet points, more white space, text boxes etc. Breaking the information up visually into chunks helps the reader digest it better. Again, excellent job. Very impressive. I learned a lot. And I love birds, but I hate that trees are dying.


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