In 2016, educators from Exploris School and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS) came together to examine ways to take professional development workshops and extend them into project based learning (PBL) case studies in the classroom. This collaboration grew into the NCMNS PBL Fellowship program, a transformative collaboration involving immersive field work and gritty experiments with PBL best-practices.
Three cohorts of dynamic and innovative teachers of grades K-12 worked with 4 mentors from 3 local schools (Exploris School, Central Park School, and Ballentine Elementary) to implement Project Based Learning (PBL) in their classrooms. During a yearlong fellowship that included a weekend field experience in North Carolina and training and mentorship in PBL by experienced educators, PBL Fellows developed issues-based case studies (integrated thematic unit) that applied best practices of PBL to the North Carolina standards. Throughout the fellowship, PBL Fellows worked closely with colleagues and mentors to bring a current North Carolina issue to life in their classrooms. The Fellows’ projects are published on this site to make them accessible to all North Carolina educators.