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Implementing Successful PBL + STEM Initiatives

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Students working together

Presented by Jorge Valenzuela, Education Leadership Coach, Strategic Advisor, Professional Speaker, Author, and Educator, Lifelong Learning Defined; Mark Whelton, Superintendent, Bridgeport-Spaulding Community School District (MI); and Christopher Young, Educator, Instructional Coach, and STEM Facilitator, The Oakwood School (NC)

Sponsored by SmartLab®

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Join us for an hour of inspiration and STEM expertise with Education Coach Jorge Valenzuela, who focuses on the successful implementation of STEM initiatives, project-based learning (PBL), college and career readiness, and essential life skills for students. He is joined by Mark Whelton, Superintendent of Bridgeport-Spaulding Community School District (MI), and Christopher Young, a dedicated teacher at The Oakwood School (NC), as our guest speakers. They share their experiences, insights, and successes.

Reserve your spot for this informative one-hour session and be a part of the educational transformation. Viewers gain an understanding of the significance of incorporating STEM, PBL, and life skills into learning experiences to foster success in today’s world.

This recorded edLeader Panel is of interest to PreK-12 teachers, curriculum and instruction leaders, STEM leaders, and school and district leaders.

Jorge Valenzuela

About the Presenters

Jorge Valenzuela is a well-regarded and nationally recognized performance and education coach, author, and speaker at Lifelong Learning Defined. He got his start in education and has helped countless educators improve their leadership and instructional innovation skills. Jorge specializes in emphasizing core instruction and is a trusted deliverer of reputable professional training in team building, project-based learning, STEM pathways, and life-skills integration across the curriculum. He partners with superintendents and provides professional development on behalf of ASCD, Corwin, Premiere Speakers Bureau, and Solution Tree. He has authored several books and is the Lifelong Learning Defined Podcast host. You can find him on Instagram at @JorgeDoesPBL and Twitter at @JorgeDoesPBL

Mark Whelton

Mark Whelton is Superintendent of Bridgeport-Spaulding Community School District in Bridgeport, Michigan. Mark is a sixth-year superintendent and leader of a dynamic group of educators. He is a sports enthusiast who lives a vision of “No Barriers, Just Possibilities,” which requires a student-first focus and an understanding that you can lead a horse to water. Still, you can’t make it drink UNLESS you add salt to its food. So, what is your salt?

Mark holds degrees from Central Michigan University, Marygrove College, and the University of Michigan. Over the past 23 years, he has been a teacher, principal, intervention specialist, data and PLC coach at The Institute for Excellence in Education, and an integral part of the Financial Independence Team at the Michigan Department of Education.

Christopher Young

Christopher Young is a seasoned educator, instructional coach for Creative Learning Systems, and STEM facilitator for The Oakwood School in North Carolina. As a Smart Lab instructor, Chris brings 17 years of STEM and computer science education background fostering creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Chris also serves as the Board President of Rho Sigma Omega (a STEM honor society), Instructional Coach, and High School Coaching Mentor.

His academic qualifications include a Certificate in Computer Science from Harvard University, a Master of Business Administration from East Carolina University, and dual Bachelor’s degrees from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Chris is a Certified Network Administrator and a Microsoft Office User Specialist, showcasing his technical proficiency.

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.


SmartLab® develops customized, project-based and STEM-focused learning environments that include hands-on projects and equipment; authentic, student-led experiences; standards-aligned supplemental curriculum; and rigorous training and professional development. SmartLab®’s mission is to prepare students for the careers of tomorrow. Learning is different here!

Increasing student outcomes with Project Based Learning eBook

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