STEM Innovation Grant Newsletter

March, 2016

4 Ways to Support Growth Mindset in PBL

by Charity Moran Parsons

BIE National Faculty

“I can’t do this! I hate geometry! I’m too dumb for this!”

In our classroom, the word "can’t" was the worst four-letter word a student could use; after all, even the last three letters of "geometry" insist that you T-R-Y….TRY!

The student’s outburst is a classic example of fixed mindset. Fixed mindset tells the student to avoid challenges or to give up easily. Project Based Learning helps students understand that intelligence is just like any other skill – it can be developed."

Viewpoint on PBL - What Our Students Say!

"My experience in a PBL class was phenomenal! I have learned so much more than the standard AKS. Real world applications truly make a difference in a student's learning. Our class is a tight knit community in which everyone really connects with one another. We struggle together (in a good way!) and, most of all, we learn to work together and get work done. Project based learning gives students the chance to work with other people, similar to life in the real world. All in all, in my opinion, the output of this program is greater than any other class."

Viewpoint on PBL - What the Experts Say!

by Suzie Boss

Journalist and PBL Activist

Click the link below to read more!

Spotlight on the Gold Standard PBL Essential Design Elements: Critique and Revision

John Larmer

Editor in Chief, Buck Institute for Education

"When I was a student in school, we turned in our work (yes, written on parchment paper with a quill pen, haha) to the teacher and that was the end of it. We didn’t get it back until it had been graded. Sometimes we did write rough drafts of essays in English class, and some teachers would labor over their corrections and comments in the margins, while others would simply write “More detail” or “More examples” or some such general request on top. When I was a teacher, I would mark up my students’ papers in the dreaded red pen and hope they heeded my carefully-worded feedback. So that was critique and revision back in the day.

Today, at least in a PBL classroom, things are different."

Click below to read more!

And the STEMMY PBL Award goes to . . .

This teacher was nominated by her colleagues in recognition of her exemplary work implementing STEM focused project based learning. Congratulations to this transformational teachers!

Soomy Sim, Duluth Middle School

"Soomy is constantly finding ways to connect her Earth Science content with the 6th grade math, social studies, and language arts curricula. She is creative in her lesson planning and finds ways to engage the students in hands-on labs and learning opportunities, as well as creating partnerships with our local community members to make STEM PBL learning at Duluth Middle authentic."


Do you know a teacher who is implementing exemplary STEM focused PBL? A teacher who has transformed instruction in their classroom and engages students in active learning? Nominate them for the STEMMY PBL Award!

These monthly awards will be given to a teacher at each level to recognize excellence in Math and Science content integration. What better way to honor the work of a colleague?