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Impacting Student Achievement with Project-Based Learning and STEM

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST

Impacting Student Achievement with Project-Based Learning and STEM

Presented by Larry Zurcher, Sustainability and STEM TOSA, Lake Oswego School District (OR); Cath Rathbone, STEM Lab Facilitator, Fayetteville Academy (NC); and Marcus Diamond, Science Teacher and SmartLab Facilitator, Weld Central High School (CO)

Sponsored by SmartLab Learning

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The George Lucas Educational Foundation released five new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM occupations are growing twice as fast as all others.

View this edLeader Panel to gain insights from education leaders as they share:

  • An overview of the Lucas Education Research
  • Examples of how to implement PBL and STEM programs
  • The gains—academic, social, and emotional—seen since implementing PBL and STEM

This recorded edLeader Panel is of interest to K-12 teachers, school and district leaders, education technology leaders, and STEM leaders and teachers.


Larry ZurcherAbout the Presenters

Larry Zurcher has been a teacher in the Lake Oswego School District since 1990. His career has ranged from being an elementary classroom teacher, a middle school science/STEM teacher, and then transitioning to leading STEM as a teacher on special assignment in 2016. As the STEM TOSA instructor, Larry helped to implement the district’s Long-Range Facility Planning Committee’s recommendation to incorporate project-based learning (PBL) through developing makerspaces in seven elementary, two middle, and two high schools. Outside of school, Larry enjoys spending time with family, outdoor running, hiking, and being on the water. His STEM muscles are flexed by building furniture out of repurposed materials.


Cath RathboneCath Rathbone is a veteran teacher and holds an M.Ed. and an M.A. Cath has worked on two continents and taught in three different languages, but nothing has excited her more than becoming a SmartLab facilitator. With eight years in national and international sales in corporate America, Cath brings real-life experience to the program as well as a healthy worldview which constantly enhances the robust program she has created for M/US at Fayetteville Academy. During the summer, Cath travels the U.S. training new facilitators.


Marcus DiamondMarcus Diamond started teaching after serving in the U.S. Army for eight years where he went through an Army program called Troops to Teachers. Training soldiers and learning to teach in the Army inspired him to pursue education in civilian life. Marcus has taught physics for 15 years at a rural school where he has been the STEM facilitator for five years. He loves the STEM lab and has been teaching with project-based learning (PBL) methods for over 10 years. He lives in Keenesburg, Colorado with his wife of 25 years and their two daughters. Marcus has a small farm where he keeps horses, chickens, and ducks. He is also an avid beekeeper which keeps him busy outside of school.


Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the STEM Learning: Full STEAM Ahead community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

SmartLabCreated by educators, SmartLab Learning develops comprehensive K–12 project-based learning, STEM-focused solutions. Whether whole classroom SmartLab HQ environments or our SmartLab Rover that brings in-depth learning into individual classrooms, our research-based solutions keep your learners engaged in hands-on, minds-on activities that reinforce science, technology, engineering, and math concepts.

SmartLab Learning


Tuesday, March 8, 2022
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST
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