We are excited to share our latest how-to video on using the PBL Projects’ Whiteboards! Watch the video below for successful strategies on using this unique problem-solving toolkit:
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 PBL Resource Center Director Kelli Vallieres and senior consultant Barry Sheckley held the last of this year’s problem-based learning workshops for Hartford Public School’s (HPS) STEM educators. Educators from a vanguard group of teachers working closely with Sheckley and Vallieres spoke with their colleagues about the challenges and success they’ve had in implementing PBL in their classrooms. The vanguard teachers have been developing overarching problem statements, or questions, to frame the content of their unit. For example, one teacher introduced students to PBL by engaging them in critical thinking around how to make nutritious choices to enhance their energy throughout the day. HPS is among the first states to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, which align with the PBL methodologies. The PBL Resource Center plans to continue working with Hartford Schools in the upcoming 2016-2017 academic year.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 PBL Resource Center Director Kelli Vallieres and senior consultant Barry Sheckley met with Hartford Public Schools educators for a morning and afternoon workshop at the Bulkeley High School in Hartford, CT. This workshop was the second in a 3-part series with the PBL Resource Center, which has been working with Hartford Public School STEM educators to align their problem-solving framework with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) when working with students.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 PI Nick Massa, PBL Resource Center Director Kelli Vallieres and co-PI Jim DeLaura led 68 educators from Hartford Public Schools in an Introduction to PBL & Next Generation Science Standards workshop at the Bulkeley High School in Hartford, Conn. Connecticut is one of sixteen states that have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to integrate into their curriculum. The standards, released in 2009, are interdisciplinary and internationally benchmarked.
Educators who attended the workshop learned about the intersection of problem based learning and the NGSS, which both emphasize problem-solving, solution analysis, and critical thinking skills. Grouped by grade level—elementary, middle school, and high school—teachers worked through the TTF Watershed STEM PBL Challenge. Next steps will include group mentoring with the PBL Resource Center and two half-day follow up workshops in February and March.
November 10, 2015 Becky Eidelman, PBL Projects Coordinator, exhibited the PBL Projects’ resources and AM PBL Challenges at the 2015 Massachusetts STEM Summit. This year’s Summit focused on successful strategies for implementing student-centered curriculum–a great topic for getting acquainted with the PBL Projects’ methodologies and problem-based learning. Check out the STEM Summit website for more information and updates.
October 26, 2015 Nick Massa, PI of the AM PBL Project, contributed to NEBHE’s Learner Centered Institutions: The Future of Higher Education conference as part of a panel discussing the role of technology in teaching the next generation of learners. Other panelists in the discussion included Eileen Rudden, co-founder of LearnLaunch and Dennis Littsky, co-founder and co-director of Big Picture Learning. Littsky, Rudden and Massa debated the best means of connecting their students to the most innovative and useful educational technologies. Panelists mentioned how the technology has to fit the learner, and engage students personally. Both Littsky and Rudden agreed that more professors needed to embrace the use of technology in the classroom, especially with students entering their classrooms who have already integrated technology into their academic lives. Be on the lookout for NEBHE’s release of video footage for this panel and others.
October 21 – 23, 2015 PI Nick Massa, PBL Resource Center Director Kelli Vallieres and PBL Projects Coordinator Becky Eidelman attended the 2015 NSF/ATE PI Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference highlighted new trends in STEM education, including efforts to include women and minorities, incorporate technology in the classroom and providing online accessibility for higher education while remaining attentive to student needs. On Friday, October 23, Massa conducted a roundtable presentation on PBL methodologies attended by educators from several NSF/ATE projects. The PBL Projects team looks forward to future conferences and opportunities to learn about exciting advances in undergraduate education.