Testimonials

What are our industry partners, instructors, and students saying about the PBL Projects? Click on the headings below to read their testimonials!

Problem-based learning is such an important aspect of career development. It is something that is not fully utilized in the classroom setting since students don’t always understand how the practical aspects of what they are doing—like math—connect to what they will be doing in the workforce. Without PBL, that disconnect continues, and it also impedes the interest a lot of people might have to moving into certain careers.  They might say ‘Well I am not good at math, so I can’t do that’, but when they understand how they’re connected, it might peak that level of interest and make them realize they can overcome some of the ideas they have of themselves.”- CEO of Sound Manufacturing, CT, AM PBL

“Because we need good, quality technical personnel, anything that we can contribute to science education and particularly to local science and engineering education is valuable to us.”- Senior Director of Special Programs at Cirtec, MA, AM PBL

“Our clients expect us to be strong problem-solvers and it’s important that our employees and our management system aligns to strong problem-solving.” – Manufacturing & Operations Director at IBM, VT, AM PBL

“When I started here, we would approach problem-solving in a much different way than we do now—we would essentially jump to conclusions, jump to what we thought was the answer and sometimes the problems would re-occur because we really didn’t get to the true root cause. By following the structure of problem solving, it forces the discipline…to gather data. It’s really a powerful process that we’ve seen work exceptionally well. I wish I had it in my career thirty years ago.” – Core Team Member at IBM, VT, AM PBL

We welcome any opportunity to participate in the sustainability of our industry through ensuring the technical education of future service providers and problem solvers. There can be nothing more beneficial to the future of our interest. This was the first time we have been able to contribute directly toward the education and curriculum of the people who will be addressing our problems. For us, it was a perfect match.” – Industry Association, STEM PBL

“PBL actively engages students in the problem-solving process with problems that have real applications and many times aren’t as well structured as end of chapter problems found in lecture-based textbooks…Once our company learned of STEM PBL, we realized it was the vehicle to provide problem based learning to a larger audience of students without compromising our company’s productivity. Collaborating with STEM PBL is an investment in the future.  As these students complete their education and enter the work force, their ability to critically think and solve real-world problems will be an asset for any company.” – Technology Company, STEM PBL

“It’s never too early for our students to begin problem-solving. By the time they’ve reached fifth grade, they’ve already started to learn the game of school—they’ve learned that if they just memorize some stuff, regurgitate it back on a piece of paper, they’re going to skate by and be fine. But if they’re given some kind of problem that requires them to come up with their own solution, that’s where they struggle.”-Sharon Center School, Middle School Science Teacher, CT, STEM PBL

Students were apprehensive at first but they gained confidence quickly. Overall students reacted very well to PBL and most liked it better than traditional direct instruction.”- HPHS Academy of Engineering and Green Technology, CT, AM PBL

“This concept/teaching methodology is a great starting point for teaching a grade level theme across disciplines. This workshop is an excellent springboard for introducing staff to performance tasks required for Common Core.”– Sand School, Middle School Literacy Coach, CT, STEM PBL

Challenging students makes them motivated.” –Rhode Island College, Pre-service Teacher, RI, AM PBL

Although the specific content does not “fit” with my curriculum, the problem solving was valuable because the science and engineering practices were all used to some extent in the problem solving. I really don’t consider this to be a difficulty; I view it as an opportunity for my students to stretch their perceptions and exercise their skills.” – Williamstown Middle and High School, Honors Physics Instructor, VT, AM PBL

“As a tech-ed teacher, [I think] these are great ideas that are mapped out in an easy to understand format. Great resources!” – North Smithfield High School, Technology Education Instructor, RI, AM PBL

I enjoyed watching how creative the kids got with their solutions even without the presence of tangibles for them to work with. I usually think of my kids as kinesthetic learners, but I was impressed with how much they got done on paper.” -Tech Boston Academy, Engineering Instructor, MA, AM PBL 

“At first they didn’t like the change from normal class process, but by the end of the Challenge, a clear majority wanted to do a second Challenge.” – Cape Code Community College, Engineering Instructor, MA, AM PBL

“Problem based learning allows students opportunity for collaboration and problem solving that will develop critical thinking skills, reading and research skills, argumentation and presentation skills. Awesome projects!” – CREC, magnet school science specialist (middle school), CT, STEM PBL

“Students seemed to like problem-based learning! They were engaged in solving the problem, and most pushed themselves and their teammates to better understand the issues. I found that they were nervous about defining the problem incorrectly at first, but that they got past this trepidation as they dug deeper into the possible solutions. I was impressed with the solutions the student teams developed.” Stonehill College, Professor of Biology, MA, STEM PBL

“I enjoy using PBL in my classes because I can see how it gives the students a good framework to solving any problem they encounter. I like having the Whiteboards for the students to use as an organizer for all the information they need. I really enjoy watching the students present their solutions to the class. I have had a positive experience with the PBL Challenges and I plan on using and developing more of them in the future.” – Ponaganset High School, Technology Instructor, RI, STEM PBL and AM PBL

I found that the students reacted very positively to PBL. In implementing the J&J STEM PBL Challenge, my role as an instructor shifted in that I was able to become a facilitator, rather than an answer giver. And although there were some problems within the student teams, I found that leadership rose to the top and that the students were able to iron out any issues they had on their own. – Taft Union High School, Chemistry Instructor, CA, STEM PBL

As far as I’m concerned, you can’t get enough of this into your course content. It is invaluable and should not be ignored. – Three Rivers Community College, Civil Engineering Technology Instructor, CT, AM PBL

My confidence increased…because unlike the task of solving textbook problems, I had the chance to learn and apply what I learned to solve something real.”- Williamstown Middle and High School, Honors Physics Student, VT, AM PBL

“I enjoyed the problem based aspect of everything. It got my mind thinking in a way I have never used it!”–Rhode Island College, Energy Systems Student, RI, AM PBL

I felt like an actual scientist instead of just a student in high school.” -Taft Union High School, Chemistry Student, CA, STEM PBL

PBL was a very rewarding experience for me to try out. It was way different than normal learning, so it was really exciting for me… because when you are just sitting there at your desk and people are giving you the information, it’s really boring. And usually I just copy it off the screen, but when I have to find the information, it sticks with me.”-Taft Union High School, Chemistry Student, CA, STEM PBL

“It was engaging and had us doing things for ourselves instead of being told the steps and how to do them.”- Windham Regional Career Center, Robotics Student, VT, AM PBL

“If you actually pay attention to the Challenge and your group, then you will really get into it.”- HPHS Academy of Engineering and Green Technology, CT, AM PBL

Participation in this project increased my confidence in my STEM skills because it helped me be a better student. It helped me to collaborate with other students, ask questions and share my findings.” Tech Boston Academy, High School Student, MA, AM PBL

“Now, I feel that manufacturing isn’t just about making/building products, it is about quality, efficiency, productivity, and also taking the products that are already manufactured and redesign[ing] them with the latest technology.” – Taconic High School, Engineering Student, MA, AM PBL

“By the time you get to the 3rd Challenge you feel confident. You’re thinking about how you can do things better versus just getting through the process. Now you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I could really do this this time, or pay attention to this detail next time.’ You take that constructive criticism that you got and grow yourself and actually hone your craft.” – Springfield Technical Community College, PHOTON PBL

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