01.25.23 / Education

Solve for Tomorrow OpEd: Problem-based Learning Leads STEM Students to Help Community

Talking Points

  • Harry Preston, a Computer Science Teacher at Green Street Academy in Baltimore, a Samsung Solve for Tomorrow National Finalist, and a Solve for Tomorrow Teacher Academy alum, penned an Opinion column for STEM SmartBrief.
  • He writes that that a problem-based learning approach to STEM education is a viable solution for counteracting the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and teacher burnout.
  • “Since introducing problem-based learning techniques in my classroom, several of my students decided to continue their education and go to college to study topics related to STEM.”

In an Opinion column for STEM SmartBrief, a STEM education media outlet, Harry Preston, Computer Science Teacher at Green Street Academy in Baltimore, writes that a problem-based learning (PBL) approach to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is a viable solution for counteracting the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on education at schools, including teacher burnout. In fact, he’s experienced how alternative approaches to education – in particular, PBL techniques – motivate and engage teachers as well as students, encouraging that strong teacher pipeline that’s in high need today. Harry – a National Finalist in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition and a Solve for Tomorrow Teacher Academy alum – writes that students with just one top teacher are more likely to attend college, earn a higher salary, and much more. He believes that PBL can unite teachers and students, inspiring innovation to address real-world challenges which Solve for Tomorrow and Teacher Academy encourage.

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“Since introducing problem-based learning techniques in my classroom, several of my students decided to continue their education and go to college to study topics related to STEM. I’ve learned that I’m a better version of myself as a teacher when I take the opportunity to improve my skills through professional development programs. They have taught me how I can give students opportunities beyond learning in a classroom and how to look for ways that students can tackle problems and apply their knowledge, helping them to better retain the information we’re trying to convey. That’s the definition of a win-win.”

(NOTE: Two Green Street Academy teams are currently competing in the 2022-2023 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition, and both have made it to the State Finalists phase. State Winners will be announced in mid-February. Visit Samsung.com/Solve to find out if they will move on to the next phase of the competition.)

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Read his Opinion article here: https://corp.smartbrief.com/original/2023/01/problem-based-learning-2

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