Hey there, it looks like it is another wonderful late summer day out there, and we start looking at fall right in front of us! 

Today, I wanted to share some things about engineering education, and its transformation into project-based learning (PBL), which is a game-changer! I am also going to share with you a few PBL resources that the Engineering Center has available for schools, which makes engineering way more awesome! 

The Olden Days: Learning from Books 

Back in the day, learning engineering meant burying your nose in textbooks and listening to long lectures. It was like learning to ride a bike by reading a manual – not very practical, right? While books gave a strong foundation, they didn’t teach us how to tackle real-world problems. 

Enter Project-Based Learning (PBL) 

Imagine learning to ride that bike by actually riding it – that’s what PBL is all about! Instead of just reading about theories, students started working on cool projects. These projects were like real-life puzzles that needed engineering solutions. PBL wasn’t just about getting the right answer; it was about learning from the journey. 

What Makes PBL Super Cool 

PBL isn’t your average classroom stuff. It’s like being in a secret club where you learn while having a blast. First, you get to work on projects that are tricky and need creative thinking. No more snoozefest! Plus, you’re the boss of your learning, and teamwork becomes your superpower. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work!  

PBL Keeps Growing and Changing 

As technology zoomed ahead, so did PBL. It’s like getting a turbo boost in a video game! Virtual reality, 3D models – these tools made projects even more exciting. You could be building a virtual bridge one day and designing a futuristic city the next. 

From Classroom to Career 

Here’s the cool part: PBL isn’t just fun; it’s super useful. The stuff you learn while working on projects? Big companies love it! They want engineers who can jump into action and solve problems right away. PBL makes sure you’re not just book-smart but also ready to rock in the real world. Come and see what careers are available and learn about which ones align with your interests by learning more at the Engineering Center of Excellence – Careers page

More than Engineering: Skills for Life 

Guess what? PBL isn’t only about nuts and bolts. It’s like a secret potion that gives you super skills. Think of it as leveling up in a game. You become a champion at problem-solving, a wizard at time management, and a ninja at teamwork. These skills are your toolkit for life, no matter what you do. The Engineering Center has a robust list of PBL content available, especially the Engineering Machine Design Contest, Explore Engineering, and the Siemens Engineering Curriculum.  

All Together Now: Everyone’s Welcome 

PBL doesn’t care if you’re a math whiz or a science superstar. It’s like a party where everyone’s invited! Different ideas and backgrounds make projects even cooler. PBL shows that anyone can be a hero in the world of engineering. 

Future Adventures with PBL 

Hold on tight because the adventure’s not over! PBL is always changing, like a shape-shifting superhero. Imagine learning engineering by putting on special glasses that show you holograms. Or working with friends from around the world on projects that make Earth smile. The future is full of PBL excitement! 


Project-based learning in engineering education is exciting. I feel like it is the difference between reading a recipe and baking a cake. PBL lets you roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and create amazing things. So, if you’re dreaming of becoming an engineer or an engineering technologist, remember that PBL is your ticket to a world of fun learning and endless possibilities. Learn more at the Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence


 Jason Bruns, BSME, MBA 
Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence 

 Content curated from OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT AI Language Model (July 23 version). https://chat.openai.com/chat. Content reviewed by Jason Bruns, Director, Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence.