School district recognized for Project Based Learning work

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MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester School District has been named a national PBL Champion District by PBLWorks, which provides professional development for educational staff on Project Based Learning (PBL).

Manchester partnered with PBLWorks for a three-year project to train staff and implement Project Based Learning, a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

“Project Based Learning has been a game changer for our students, teachers, and district,” said Amy Allen, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Leading. “It has improved our student engagement, teacher efficacy, and student experiences.”

Manchester is one of two districts selected as a PBL Champion, along with Pearl City Waipahu Complex Area in Hawaii. PBLWorks honored each district for its work to scale high quality Project Based Learning during a three-year research partnership with PBLWorks. Since the partnership began, more than 70 percent of the students in their districts have now experienced high quality Project Based Learning.

“By selecting these organizations and individuals, we are sharing the stories of the people who are the co-conspirators, who are the brave ones, who are making change right now in schools, districts, and in classrooms,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “I couldn’t be more inspired by their work.”

The awards were announced earlier this month at the 2021 PBL World conference. Also among those recognized was film legend George Lucas, who was selected for a special recognition as the 2021 PBL Champion of the Decade for his significant contributions to the field of education and promotion of high quality Project Based Learning through the George Lucas Education Foundation: Lucas Education Research and Edutopia.

“The skills kids need to come out of high school and college with are the skills of a problem-solver, of a creative thinker, of a collaborator, of a lifetime learner,” Lucas said in a recorded message. “That’s what our goal is, to help people see what’s possible and then we implement it in a way that changes what kids learn.”

For more information on PBLWorks, visit

About this Author


Andrew Tolanc

Director of Communications and Community RelationsManchester School District