Getting Smart Podcast | Project-Based Learning Connects Real World with Deep Impact

The students in Flight by Design, an engineering and math course at Raisbeck Aviation High School in the Highline School District are immersed in a year-long project to design an airfoil. In the process, the students are learning about engineering, math, and science while also collaborating and communicating effectively with their team. Their project culminates this spring with a presentation to a group of airplane manufacturers.
In this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, we feature student stories about their experiences with project-based learning (PBL), an interview with the teacher of Flight by Design and interviews with education leaders Bob Lenz and John Larmer of Buck Institute for Education (BIE) about project-based learning and the impact PBL has on student achievement.
From small STEM schools such as Aviation, to large comprehensive high schools such as Westwood High School in South Carolina, students are engaged in authentic and meaningful project work. Students master academic content and also hone their communication, critical thinking and collaboration, thereby promoting deeper learning outcomes for more students.
The podcast features BIE Executive Director Lenz, who discusses his inspiration for the work he does to spread high quality project-based learning across the country–and the world. BIE has its yearly conference, a PBL extravaganza called PBL World (#PBLWorld) this June in Napa Valley for interested educators who are at any stage of the PBL journey. John Larmer, author and BIE editor in chief, tells us what exactly constitutes a high quality project.
How do projects make students feel? What is it like, from a student’s point of view and a teacher’s point of view, to participate and lead meaningful projects? What skills do projects teach? And why is project-based learning, perhaps, a necessity for our democracy? All this and more in this episode of the Getting Smart podcast.

We’d love to hear from you AND your students. Tell us about your students’ projects. Email [email protected] with more information and we could be in touch about an opportunity to publish a guest blog. If you are interested in submitting a blog on project-based learning, see our guest posting policies.
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Bonnie Lathram

Bonnie Lathram is a student advocate and former teacher.

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