Facilitator: Rich Lehrer
Course: TTC - Problem, Project and Design-Based Teaching
Rich Lehrer believes deeply in the potential of Project Based Learning and authentic making experiences to help students become empowered agents for good in their lives, communities, and the world. He is the Director of Innovation for Brookwood School (Manchester, MA), a National Faculty member for the Buck Institute for Education, and a facilitator for i2 Learning. Rich started his career as a middle school science teacher in British Columbia, Canada and then spent 6 years at Escuela Campo Alegre, Venezuela, and 5 years at Escola Graduada, Brazil before moving to Massachusetts in 2007. In 2011, Rich began a multi-year connection with MIT’s D-LAB, creating authentic STEM projects designed to provide global collaboration opportunities for middle school students. In 2013, Rich led a transformative project that resulted in a group of his Brookwood 8th grade students becoming one of the first school groups in the world to build a functional 3D printed mechanical prosthetic for a child: in this case, Rich’s son, Max. The profound experiences associated with this project led to Rich becoming a PBL teacher trainer for the Buck Institute for Education in 2014 and the k-12 assistive device education coordinator for the Enable Community Foundation. This work has confirmed for Rich the power of middle school students to create effective solutions to real life problems and for the past five years he and his Brookwood colleagues have been breaking innovative ground in the use of 3D printing and other "next generation technology" to teach purposeful design and community engagement.