The Difference between “Doing Projects” and Project Based Learning

When I talk to teachers and staff about STEM and what it is or isn’t, we often come around to how it is similar and different to Project-Based Learning.  STEM, at its very core, is Project-Based Learning (PBL) and connecting these dots helps to demystify what STEM education is and how to teach it.
Last week, I ran across this very helpful chart from FriEd Technology that differentiates “doing projects” with students from PBL…and these points hold true for STEM education as well.   Although this is not the full picture of STEM education, it helps to quickly clarify and set expectations for both student and teacher expectations.


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One comment on “The Difference between “Doing Projects” and Project Based Learning
  1. I think this is an excellent point. There are many great science project ideas out there, but if you don't talk about how things work, how the project relates to real life, etc., then the project is more of an activity than a learning experience.