Workshop Information

Project-Based Learning 'Hackathon'

Facilitators: Kyle Wagner

Date: September 21, 2019 (Saturday)

Time: 08:30 to 16:30

Venue: Meeting Room 1-2, Cyberport, Hong Kong

Target Group:

  • Teachers
  • Teacher Coordinators
  • Curriculum Coordinators
  • Teaching Team Leaders
  • Site Managers (to better understand process)

Suggested Team Size: It is strongly suggested to attend the workshop with a cross- disciplinary teaching team of 3-5 teachers.

Main Outcome:

Learn through a PBL ‘Hackathon’ on how to design an impactful, interdisciplinary project- based experience for students in the 2019-2020 school year, while providing site leaders skills to support them.


The morning is organized around the PBL hackathon, where Kyle Wagner, a High Tech High PBL trained expert will engage participants around a real world project. In the process of completing their project, participants will learn about the purpose of the driving question, how to scaffold experiences, how to group students, self- and peer assessment methods, and how to infuse content and skills.

The afternoon is designed to further unpack the morning experience and connect learning to practice. Participants will be taken through PBL case studies across all age groups; learn the 5 step planning process for highly effective projects; and learn the key differences between ‘doing projects’ and ‘project- based learning.’ Participants will leave the workshop ready to start the planning for their own projects for students in the 2019-2020 school year.


  • Learn the major components of effective PBL
  • Understand difference between effective and ineffective PBL
  • Link PBL to subject- specific teaching standards
  • Learn how to scaffold PBL experiences
  • Learn strategies for assessing PBL experiences
  • Learn the 5-step planning process for creating PBL experiences
  • Be ready to implement the project with students in the 2019-2020 school year


Kyle Wagner a High Tech High trained PBL expert, and founder of Transform Educational Consulting, an organization that empowers schools to create 21st century learners through innovative strategies and teaming structures. He is also the former Coordinator of Futures Academy at the International School of Beijing, a program that uses interdisciplinary project- based learning to connect students to their passions and the world outside of school. His book “The power of SIMPLE” documents this experience and helps provide simple, research- based strategies for school wide innovation. Kyle is also a former educator at High Tech High, the school featured on the hit documentary “Most Likely to Succeed.” He holds a M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership with a thesis that focuses on developing democratic classrooms and distributed leadership models. When not writing or teaching, he is performing with his original band, participating in karaoke contests and traveling the world with his partner. He currently resides in Hong Kong where he spends time developing schools of the future while helping other school leaders build theirs.


2,000 HKD per participant.

10,000 HKD for teams of 6.



Project Based Learning Workshop Schedule: 08:30 to 16:30
Agenda Item Description/ Process
Part One: What is PBL? What are the major components?
Grounding Activity and Objectives What do you know? What do you want to know about PBL?
Article Review Participants review components of effective project- based experiences through a Socratic Seminar to unpack successful components.
Tea Break
Immersive Experience In groups, participants take part in an immersive PBL ‘hackathon’ to understand the process of an effective project- based experience.
Lunch Break
Project Exhibition Participants exhibit their final products
Project Reflection Participants self- assess projects and connect learning to practice
Gallery Walk Workshop participants complete gallery walk of PBL projects. Explore projects online. Determine major components.
POL vs. PBL Short Video and Venn diagram to distinguish between ‘doing projects’ and Project- Based Learning.
Tea Break
Case Study: Project Overview (s) What does a sample project look like? Run through the major parts of the planning process with sample primary and secondary school project.
Reflection Participants reflect on learning for the day with learning for day two previewed and frontloaded.