Project-Based Learning as a Tool to Close the STEM Gap

Stem-related icons with the a STEM graphic text.

Project-Based Learning can boost students’ retention by letting them solve real-world examples that bridge the gap between theory and understanding the why behind what teachers are teaching. The ability to make these connections with a hands-on approach makes PBL a powerful tool for closing the STEM gap.

Active learning enhances learning outcomes

Project-based learning involves designing projects that create active learning moments. Some of the most engaging projects are personalized to fit with students’ interests. For this individualized learning, teachers must know each student’s interests, talents, and areas of improvement to keep them challenged at an appropriate level.

Formative assessments track student progress

Knowing what gets kids to learn requires teachers to build meaningful connections with students. This involves knowing each student’s background and progress throughout the school year. This task evolves as students grow in their learning which is why formative assessments come in handy to track learning journeys. Teachers can build questions into the daily lesson that informs them how unit content can be modified or scaffolded for each student.

Popular formative assessment tools include GoGuardian Teacher and Pear Deck, which allow teachers to create interactive lessons with real-time formative assessment tools. You can access licensing to GoGuardian here. Teachers that adopt real-time assessments will have an advantage in creating more equitable learning experiences. 

Model continuous learning

Not every educator asked to teach a STEM topic has a STEM background. Approaching project-based learning, especially ones that help a student investigate an interest of theirs, means you could find yourself learning alongside your students. We encourage you to dive in. Showing your students that it’s okay not to know all the answers and to experiment, possibly fail, and try again, is one of the best lessons you can teach to develop the resilience and confidence kids need to pursue STEM.

Read more about maximizing student engagement here:

We’re curious to know if you’re using PBL in your classroom and how. Share with us in the comments below.


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