Project-based Learning: Engaging Students in Design & Innovation

Jordan Cox, PTC

The Course

We are excited to work with you in supporting project-based learning in your classroom! Our team has worked with hundreds of K-12 teachers in efforts to design and implement PBL projects for the classroom and this course is built on those experiences and will provide you with teacher-tested methodologies and resources.

Our Model

By participating in this course you will get exposed to real world practices, research-based pedagogy and content, and practical technologies and techniques. We focus on teaching PBL through the lens of design and innovation. This approach positions students as active learners who apply academic concepts in project-based experiences.

The model we will focus on in this course is centered around a simplified product development process, which enables students to take a role in innovation by generating products to solve problems. Since products are tangible things that students interact with every day, product development challenges prove to be highly engaging as the students are not only familiar with different kinds of products, but they also provide a valuable context for exploring multiple disciplines while solving interesting and meaningful problems.

This model is especially relevant to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) teachers who would like to incorporate practices such as problem solving, modeling, investigations, and using data to inform decision making in the classroom.

Course Layout

The course is organized into a series of six projects that you will complete yourself. Each of the projects below covers a unique approach to PBL and has been tested with teachers who work in diverse grade and subject-areas. To help you complete the project, we will provide a collection of demos, presentations, and opportunities to collaborate with your peers.

  1. Product Vignettes: learn about the power of engaging students through design and innovation by sharing a visual story about product innovation.
  2. Creative Brainstorming: learn new techniques to spark creativity and inspiration based on industry models for brainstorming and then generate new ideas for classroom products using a mashup method.
  3. Design Tests: learn how data-informed decision making is important when students design models in the classroom and then simulate this experience by testing boat/bridge designs.
  4. Supply Chain Map: learn how products expose students to multiple themes including geography, resources, environment, and planning by creating a supply chain map of a product.
  5. Futuristic Field Support Plan: learn how new innovations need a good plan to be successful and address topics such as marketing and support, then apply this knowledge to create a support plan for a futuristic product such as a holographic communicator or flying car.
  6. Internet of Things: learn about a new field in industry that merges design, computer science, data, and social issues all centered on creating intelligent technologies like smart homes and cars, and then use this knowledge to create a conceptual model of a smart prosthesis for disabled persons.

You'll love this course if you want to:

  • Learn PBL by doing PBL
  • Build skills in teacher-tested practices such as storytelling, brainstorming, and design thinking
  • Access resources you can use in your class immediately
  • Ground your PBL practice in academic research and industry use cases
  • Collaborate with teachers across the globe
  • Receive feedback on your work and exhibit your ideas in an online community
Check out winter 2016 highlights »

More Information

The Instructors

Jordan Cox

PTC Instructor

Ayora Berry

PTC Instructor

Alyssa Walker

PTC Instructor


PTC provides technology solutions that help more than 28,000 business worldwide transform the way they create, operate and service products for a smart, connected world. PTC believes that the sustained success of our company, our customers, and society depends upon empowering each generation to innovate in solving real world economic, social, and environmental challenges. For more than ten years, our team of engineers, designers, and educators has been working with students and educators to foster innovation in the classroom and beyond through student programs, teacher professional development, curriculum resources and industry donations of advanced technologies.

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  • Language: English Gb


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