Problem-Based Learning Archives - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Problem-Based Learning

The Great Water Design Challenge Competition

Sponsored by NOAA Planet Stewards Project and IMSA

Wednesday, November 20, 2019     8:30 – 3:00

 You’re invited…….

Water is a limited resource. More than 1,300 Illinois communities rely on water from Lake Michigan, inland surface water, and groundwater. Globally, more than two billion people are affected by water stress due to growing demands on water supplies and the increasing effects of climate change.   Water is essential to all life. We must be responsible for its future.

In this Great Water Challenge, student teams will compete in research and design thinking to create innovative responses and solutions to address their selected water challenge.  Teams will be provided with access to research, prototyping, and presentation materials to address their selected challenge.  Experts will also be available for questions, conversations and insights as team work.

Challenge Topics:

  • Water Quality
  • Marine Pollution
  • Invasive Species
  • Sustainability
  • Conservation

The Challenge is open to teams of 4-5 middle school or high school students and their sponsor(s). Teams must arrange for their own transportation. Continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided.  Awards will be presented to top performing teams.  Space is limited to the first 20 schools that register.

                        Register Here!

Problem-Based Learning Design Institute

Professional development in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is designed for educators in all disciplines to aid them as they design and develop effective PBL materials and become skillful coaches in K-16 classrooms and education settings. IMSA’s PBL team works directly with educational partners to design a program to fulfill the partner’s specific vision for the institution. This often includes a multi-year plan allowing teams to progress from an introduction to PBL through developing a self-sustaining culture of PBL with a multi-tiered coaching team.

Problem-Based Learning Design Institutes provide participants with experience as PBL learners engaged in a problem. From this experience, the participants analyze the critical elements of IMSA’s PBL model through dialogue with fellow participants and facilitators. They apply this knowledge as they engage in the design process for a problem to be used in their own classrooms. Participants receive instruction and mentoring from a team of experienced PBL practitioners.

In this PBL Design Institute participants will:
  • Identify learning objectives linked to state and national standards and benchmarks
  • Design a PBL scenario considering local context
  • Develop problem materials and documents
  • Understand coaching in PBL
  • Design assessment opportunities and the problem documents


For more information, contact Angela Rowley 630-907-5858