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STEM PBL (Problem-Based Learning)


A Sustainable Technology Curriculum and Professional Development Project funded by the Advanced Technology Education program of the National Science Foundation

Welcome to the STEM PBL Project curriculum!

  • site map of how to navigate a NEBHE PBL Challenge is available.
  • Challenge Classification Table which classifies the PBL Challenges by type of Challenge (trouble shooting versus design problems), number of solutions (single versus multiple), and level of difficulty (basic versus advanced) is available here and as a downloadable PDF.


  • FloDesign – Students need to design a new way to extract electrical energy from a wind turbine
  • Johnson and Johnson – In this PBL Challenge, you will be part of team developing a new treatment for eczema using plant-derived active ingredients.
  • RSL Fiber Systems is designing an ergonomic and energy efficient lighting system for submarines
  • SPG Solar/City of Tucson – The city of Tucson, AZ wants SPG Solar to put a solar array on a large building but the roof is not strong enough to support a traditional panel array.
  • Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association – Can technology be used to make a cranberry bog more energy efficient?
  • TTF Watershed Partnership – Can the problem of urban stormwater be addressed by local communities without investing in huge infrastructure projects?

Standards Alignment:

Each of the STEM PBL Challenge is aligned to the math and ELA Common Core State Standards for Speaking & Listening, STEM Literacy, and STEM Writing, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards for grades 9-12, the National Science Education Standards (NSES) for grades 9-12, and the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEA) Standards for Technology Literacy for grades 9-12.

Click here to download the additional STEM PBL Challenge standards mentioned above.

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