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In this article, we will discuss Project Based Learning and share 10 real world PBL project ideas that can be used at home or in the classroom as a jumping off point for your PBL lessons.

Project-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach that involves students working on a project or solving a real-world problem over an extended period of time. It is a student-centered approach that emphasizes active learning, critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.

10 PBL Project Ideas! Real world applications to excite and engage students with Project Based Learning

What is PBL?

In project-based learning, students engage in an in-depth investigation of a topic or issue, often across multiple subject areas. They work in teams or individually to research, plan, design, and create a final product or solution that addresses the project’s objectives. This final product can take various forms, such as a presentation, a prototype, a research paper, a performance, or a community service project.

PBL encourages students to take ownership of their learning by allowing them to explore their interests, ask questions, and make connections between different concepts and skills. It also promotes the development of 21st-century skills. Skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving, which are essential for success in the modern world. Real world application can be incredibly motivating for some students.

Project-based learning provides students with opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in authentic, real-world contexts, making their learning more meaningful and relevant. It also fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter and helps students develop important skills that go beyond memorization and regurgitation of information.

Overall, project-based learning is an effective and engaging instructional approach that promotes active learning, critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills, preparing students for success in their academic, professional, and personal lives. 

Learn more about PBL.

10 Real World PBL Project Ideas

Let’s take a look at ten real world PBL project ideas that you can use as independent or group projects, at home or in the classroom.

1. Creating a sustainable garden: Design and implement a garden that utilizes sustainable practices. Such as rainwater harvesting, composting, and organic gardening techniques.

2. Developing a community recycling program: In this PBL project idea, students create a comprehensive recycling program for your school or local community. Include education and awareness campaigns, collection systems, and partnerships with recycling facilities.

3. Designing an eco-friendly transportation system: Develop a plan for a sustainable transportation system in your city. Incorporate options such as bike lanes, electric vehicle charging stations, and public transportation improvements.

4. Addressing food insecurity: Create a project that tackles food insecurity in your community. Such as starting a community garden, organizing food drives, or establishing partnerships with local food banks.

Real World PBL Ideas

5. Promoting mental health awareness: Develop a campaign to raise awareness about mental health issues. Reduce stigma in your school or community, including activities such as workshops, support groups, and awareness events.

6. Creating a renewable energy initiative: Propose and implement a project that promotes the use of renewable energy sources. Such as solar panels or wind turbines, in your school or community.

7. Designing a sustainable packaging solution: Develop an alternative packaging solution that reduces waste and environmental impact. Such as biodegradable or reusable packaging materials.

8. Addressing water pollution: In this PBL project idea, students create a project that focuses on reducing water pollution in your local waterways. Including initiatives such as river clean-ups, educational campaigns, and advocating for stricter pollution regulations.

9. Promoting gender equality: Develop a project that raises awareness about gender equality issues and promotes inclusivity and equal opportunities in your school or community.

10. Creating a community wellness program: Design and implement a wellness program that focuses on physical and mental health. Incorporate activities such as exercise classes, mindfulness workshops, and healthy cooking demonstrations.

Bonus: PBL Lesson Plan Template

Whether you’re designing a project based lesson plan for your class, co-op, or homeschool family, make it easy with a simple and effective lesson plan template. This template includes a two-page overview of your project, five days of planning, and a ten point rubric all in a simple-to-edit Google Doc.

PBL Lesson Plan Template

Looking for more PBL project ideas? Check out this article: Project Based Learning Activities: 50 Engaging Ideas!

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