The Buck Institute for Education Publishes Videos of Gold Standard PBL Projects

Novato, California (June 24, 2018) – Project Based Learning (PBL) is gaining momentum throughout the U.S. and around the world as a way to deeply engage students in content and build 21st century success skills. To help schools and districts visualize what high quality PBL looks like in the classroom, the Buck Institute for Education has published six videos from schools across the country with kids from kindergarten through high school to showcase the Buck Institute’s Gold Standard for Project Based Learning. The videos include interviews with teachers and footage of classroom lessons. They are available at

The Buck Institute’s comprehensive, research-based Gold Standard PBL model helps teachers design effective projects. Gold Standard PBL projects are focused on student learning goals and include seven Essential Project Design Elements. The model helps teachers, schools and organizations measure, calibrate and improve their practice.

“There is a difference between teaching a project and high quality Project Based Learning,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of the Buck Institute. “Teachers, students, and stakeholders need to understand what high quality PBL means – and what it looks like in the classroom. We published these six videos to provide visual examples of the Buck Institute’s Gold Standard PBL projects. They allow viewers to see the lessons in action and hear directly from teachers and students.”

The Gold Standard Projects are:

  • Taking Care of Our Environment Project – Citizens of the World Charter School, Los Angeles. Kindergarten students develop solutions to environmental problems based on the problems they see impacting a playhouse on school property.
  • Tiny House Project – Katherine Smith Elementary School, San Jose, California. Students design a model for a tiny house for a real client.
  • March Through Nashville Project – McKissack Middle School, Nashville. Students create a virtual museum app focused on the civil rights movement in Nashville.
  • The Finance Project – Northwest Classen High School, Oklahoma City. Students help real families create a plan to meet their financial goals.
  • Revolutions Project – Impact Academy of Arts and Technology, Hayward, California. 10 grade students investigate different revolutions in history and conduct mock trials to evaluate whether the revolutions were effective.
  • Water Quality Project – Leaders High School, Brooklyn, New York. Students investigate techniques to improve water quality using the water crisis in Flint, Michigan as a case study.

The videos are part of the Buck Institute’s ongoing leadership around high quality Project Based Learning. The Buck Institute was part of a collaborative effort to develop and promote a High Quality Project Based Learning (HQPBL) Framework which describes what students should be doing, learning, and experiencing. The framework is intended to provide educators with a shared basis for designing and implementing good projects. The Buck Institute also provides professional development to help schools teach and scale high quality Project Based Learning.

About the Buck Institute for Education

At the Buck Institute for Education, we believe that all students—no matter where they live or what their background—should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is to build the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning and the capacity of school and system leaders to set the conditions for teachers to implement great projects with all students. For more information, visit