let’s hear it for pbl

Project-based learning is a proven means of engaging students with real-world problems and stimulating higher order thinking. But, given that accountability is highly weighted on test scores, how can schools demonstrate the real value of PBL to authorizers? How can PBL be something more than just another
nice ‘add-on’?


Michael Windram is a Professional Learning Specialist for the PICCS department within the Center for Educational Innovation.  Michael has served children as a teacher and school leader during sixteen years of practice in district and charter public schools.  He holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University and Master of Science in Education from CUNY-Lehman College.  Michael’s focus has been on empowering teachers to inspire the lives of children.  He believes American educators should celebrate their success while striving to improve so that our children are afforded every opportunity for success.


David Lockett is a STEM teacher at Bok Academy in Lake Wales, Fl as well as an NSTA Aerospace Advisory Board Member. At Bok Academy, he is responsible for implementing a project based curriculum for all students as they rotate through the STEM Lab. David has a distinguished and diverse background in the fields of Astronomy, Biotechnology, and Engineering, and is an advocate and practitioner of S.T.E.M. accessibility for all students. David has participated in a variety of NSF projects throughout North and South America, including the Astronomy in Chile’s Ambassadors Educator Program and  Innovators Developing Accessible Tools for Astronomy. 

Jeremy Cavallaro is the Co-Founder of Community Roots Academy in Laguna Niguel, California. He has served as Executive Director of Education since its opening in 2011. Previously he was a school leader in private and public schools in NYC and CA. He has been a teacher at both public and private schools on the West and East coast. Mr. Cavallaro is a lifetime learner who is dedicated to education and committed to enhancing public education opportunities for all students.

Dianne Jacobson is the Operations Manager at Skyview School in her hometown of Prescott, Arizona. She has been intimately involved with elementary education since 1997, when she came upon a Waldorf-inspired Michaelmas celebration. Since then, she has served on charter governing boards and worked hundreds of hours supporting charter education in Prescott. In 2015, was invited to join the Advisory Council for the Arizona Charter Schools Association.