illustration of rocket launching

This past month, I have watched the logo on two of my go-to apps change, and received notifications of why both companies are updating their brand. I also just received notice that my hotel rewards program is changing their brand name to better communicate their company’s priorities and values. You might have seen some of your favorite companies or products change their name, look, and message too. Normally, I don’t pay much attention to these changes; however, lately I am hyper-focused on rebranding because here at the Buck Institute for Education we are updating our brand as well!

I am thrilled to announce that today we are rolling out our new brand name: PBLWorks!

We chose this name because it tells everyone what we do and why we do it. We will always be the Buck Institute for Education; this will remain our parent brand and we are proud of our 32-year legacy of quality and integrity in the education field. We are recognized as the worldwide leader in promoting and providing support for Project Based Learning, so we decided that our name should celebrate that fact. Like an ironworks or skunkworks, we are a place where things are created—innovative ideas, services, and products.

We also know from our experience and a growing body of promising research that when done well, PBL transforms learning and students’ lives. PBL works for all subject areas, grade levels, and students. That’s why our new tagline is, “Project Based Learning for All.” This aligns with our vision, that all students – no matter where they come from or what their background – will have access to high quality PBL so they can learn key academic content and success skills, and are empowered to tackle the challenges in their lives and in the world they will inherit. We believe our new brand brings this vision to life.

We’ve Seen How PBL Works

We have seen our vision come to life in schools and districts all over the United States and across the world. We heard the story of Sandek, an immigrant from Myanmar who entered one of the PBL Career Academies in Metro Nashville Public Schools having never gone to school before. He thrived there, and now works in the biotech field. We heard from Yvonne, from the San Francisco Bay Area, who because of her PBL high school was prepared to be the first in her family to graduate from college – UC Berkeley at that! At PBL schools like those in the New Tech Network, High Tech High, Envision Schools, EL Education, Big Picture Learning, the International Schools and more, we are seeing impressive graduation, college-going and college persistence rates for all students, including those furthest from opportunity. Truly, PBL works.

In survey after survey from our professional development workshops, teachers tell us they have been transformed—as excited as when they first entered the profession. PBL allows them to reach their original goal of inspiring a love of learning and to make a positive difference for their students. Truly, PBL works for teachers as well as students!

I think we all can agree that the world has changed dramatically in recent decades and even in the last few years.

Students need not only academic knowledge and skills, but also success skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, and project management. They need to know how to learn, take responsibility, and gain self-confidence. Hundreds of thousands of educators across the United States and beyond have decided that engaging students in PBL is one of the best ways to prepare them for their future – truly, PBL works!

PBLWorks will be bringing new services, tools, and resources to support every stage of your PBL journey. Stay tuned for some big announcements and more stories of how PBL works later this year!

Bob Lenz, Executive Director
Bob became Executive Director of the PBLWorks on June 1, 2015. Before taking the helm at PBLWorks, he was the co-founder of Envision Education and served as its CEO and Chief of Innovation until 2015.