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.


Lane specializes in STEM education, curriculum design and professional development and makes teachers’ lives easier through innovative, standards-based STEM lessons.