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Wednesday, November 14 • 9:45am - 10:35am
Project Based Learning Pathways: Reflections on a 6th Grade Public Middle School PBL Classroom Pilot

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Project based learning (PBL) is a student-centered learning model that has a long history of implementation in schools, but is still considered to be an innovative teaching method to better prepare students for college, career and life. Research has shown that PBL can be particularly effective in helping students develop 21st century skills such as creativity, collaboration, communication and creativity, as well as improving retention of cognitive skills and knowledge.

In the 2017-18 school year, the Westford, MA public school system decided to launch a pilot 6th grade classroom that would offer a fully integrated (i.e., STEM and Humanities) PBL classroom as an alternative to traditional subject-specific classroom settings. Parents opted into the choice of this classroom for their children, and for some it was a way of trying to re-engage their sons and daughters who were losing interest in school. The session will summarize the results of the pilot in the words of the two teachers who led the class, two of their students from the pilot classroom, as well as an evaluator who conducted a mixed methods assessment during the school year. Topics covered in the session will include an explanation of how the integrated PBL model was implemented, what was needed to make the year a success, and what were the key learnings by looking at the outcomes from the year. Perspectives from students, parents, teachers and the administration will be included in the session.


Malvika Bhardwaj

Student, Stony Brook Middle School

Tristan Caldwell

Student, Stony Brook Middle School

Sandra Femino

6th Grade Humanities Teacher, Stony Brook Middle School – Westford Public Schools

Jane Heaney

Program Evaluator, Westford Public Schools

Sanhita Lothe

Student, Stony Brook Middle School

Jennifer Masterson

6th Grade STEM Teacher, Stony Brook Middle School – Westford Public Schools

Wednesday November 14, 2018 9:45am - 10:35am EST
Meeting Room B