Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning (PBL) is learning through doing. Students are challenged to move from problem to solution through a series of task-oriented steps we call the Cubs Create Design Cycle. This collaborative process creates lifelong learners by igniting a curiosity about the world around them. The skills gained through PBL and the Design Cycle also position them for success in college and the workforce.

The Cubs Create Design Cycle utilizes six stages for tackling complex, real-world problems. 


“What is the problem? Why does it need to be fixed? Who/what will be impacted?”


“What is already known and being done about the problem?”


“In what new ways could you address the problem?”


“In detail, how will you implement your solution?”


“Bring your ideas to life!”

Evaluate & REVISE

“Does your final product match your original ideas?” “How could your solution be better based on the feedback you received from your peers and teachers?”

The Design Cycle at Work

Eighth Grade Physical Science Project

Eighth grade students in physical science were studying simple machines when they began a project to create their own ADA compliant playgrounds. They followed the steps of the Design Cycle:

Ask: Students were asked to think about what simple machines already exist in playground equipment today. They were challenged to design equipment that would be functional, enjoyable, and affordable.

Research: They researched playground equipment from all over the world. As religion is a crucial element to Mount Carmel Academy's STREAM-based learning, students were also reminded to respect the dignity of all humans and research ADA requirements for inclusive and accessible equipment for children with disabilities.

Imagine: They began thinking about their own playground equipment, focusing on how to incorporate a simple machine and how to make it accessible to all children.

Plan: Each group chose a simple machine for their design. They considered many factors. Does it exist? Is it new? Is it safe?

Create: The groups designed their 3D models and printed their equipment in the Phyllis M. Taylor Maker Lab. Each class then combined their models and assembled a working playground.

Evaluate: A playground committee examined each piece of equipment and determine if it would be safe and accessible.

Improve: The projects that are not approved by the playground committee were redesigned and reprinted. Students assembled their revised playground on foam board and presented it to their class. They discussed why they created their model and how it is safe and inclusive.

Learn about: