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Connect classroom learning with real-world issues and problems.

STEM WorkplaceThrough this innovative program, educators engage in professional development exploring Project-based Learning (PBL) and participate in an externship at a STEM-related business where they observe, first-hand:

  • the challenges their students must be equipped to address in future careers
  • the knowledge and skills required to tackle these challenges
  • opportunities to bridge classroom learning with the real world

Project-based Learning (PBL) Outcomes:

Studies confirm various positive results of PBL, including: improved content learning, higher levels of student engagement, a more positive view of learning, heightened interest in content, development of problem-solving strategies and increased ability to transfer skills to new situations (Holm, 2011).

Educators who develop the knowledge and skills needed to effectively facilitate PBL—and discover the competencies required to address real-world issues and problems—will be equipped to support their students in:

  • practicing application of 21st-century skills, such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking & problem solving, creativity & innovation
  • engaging in real-world, authentic problems
  • developing skills for living in a knowledge-based, highly technical society
  • learning project management skills, such as action planning, timeline coordination, checkpoint monitoring, etc.
  • building awareness of career choices and requirements for career success
  • developing a realistic sense of workplace accountability

Teacher Responsibilities:

  • participate in no-cost Project-based Learning (PBL) Professional Development (2 days)
  • participate in an externship with a STEM professional at their workplace (1/2 day)
  • participate in no-cost professional development to complete design of a PBL experience (1 day)
  • facilitate the PBL experience with students while involving the STEM professional by email, phone and/or videoconference
  • invite the school community and STEM professional to participate in student presentation of the PBL experience
  • participate in evaluations; submit student work samples, testimonials, etc.

Review the Teacher Overview to learn more. 

Register by contacting Maleea Johnson at mjohnson@assetinc.org or 412-481-7320 ext. 201.

STEM Professional Responsibilities:

  • participate in an on-boarding phone call (1 hour)
  • host an educator for an externship at your workplace (1/2 day)
  • be available for check-ins with the teacher and students via email, phone and/or videoconference
  • participate in student presentation of a Project-based Learning (PBL) experience (optional)

Review the Business Partner/Mentor Overview and Participation Form to learn more.

Register by contacting Karen Ahearn at kahearn@assetinc.org or 412-481-7320 ext. 203.

Upcoming Program Dates:

The following engagements are currently scheduled for educators and STEM professionals in the Greater Pittsburgh (PA) region:

August 9–10, 2017: PBL professional development for teachers

August 11–October 11, 2017: Teachers complete one (1) half-day externship with a STEM Professional at a business/industry workplace

October 12, 2017: PBL design professional development for teachers

Program Sponsor:

Arconic Foundation

Business/Industry Partners:

  • Chevron

  • Consol Energy

  • PPG Industries, Inc.