Professional Development

The Advanced Manufacturing Problem Based Learning (AM PBL) project will develop six authentic multimedia PBL Challenges (case studies) focused on critical areas of advanced manufacturing in collaboration with industry partners across New England. Based on the New England Board of Higher Education’s (NEBHE) STEM PBL and PHOTON PBL Challenge model, these instructional materials will bring real-world problem-solving strategies used in advanced manufacturing fields such as aerospace, composite materials, medical devices, nanotechnology, optics, precision measurement and semiconductors into the classroom to promote the development of student problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Each Challenge will be aligned to K-12 national Common Core academic standards and industry competencies.

Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers & Teacher Education Faculty

Participation in the Advanced Manufacturing PBL project included:

  • Webinars to introduce participants to PBL pedagogy and the PBL Challenges.
  • A comprehensive one-week summer institute (2014) for STEM educators and teacher education faculty to develop proficiency in PBL pedagogy and to learn how to create PBL Challenges for use in STEM and advanced manufacturing technology classes.
  • Field-testing the new Advanced Manufacturing PBL Challenges in participants’ classrooms across New England.
  • A series of webinars to provide ongoing technical support and mentoring.
  • An online learning community for participants, PBL practitioners and mentors.
  • A capstone showcase workshop in year three (2015) to disseminate best practices and exchange ideas for future collaboration in PBL.

As a result of taking part in the Advanced Manufacturing PBL Institute and the follow-up activities, participating secondary STEM in-service teachers were able to:

  • Learn how the web-based Advanced Manufacturing PBL Challenges can be used in the classroom.
  • Practice with web-based Advanced Manufacturing PBL Challenges developed through the Advanced Manufacturing PBL project.
  • Learn student assessment strategies for PBL.
  • Learn to design your own PBL Challenges.
  • Gain access to the PBL curriculum materials developed by the Advanced Manufacturing PBL, PHOTON PBL and STEM PBL projects.
  • Receive stipends for field-testing Advanced Manufacturing Challenges
  • Become part of a nationwide network of PBL educators dedicated to sharing knowledge with fellow project participants.
  • Share implementation stories with the other project participants in a capstone showcase workshop (summer 2015).

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