Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning engages students in deep, meaningful, relevant problem-solving, creative pursuits, and personally significant projects. Students apply 21st-century skills (Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Agency, and Citizenship)  to tackle authentic problems and complex questions. Through the course of their projects, students deepen their understanding of content standards, while simultaneously honing other essential academic skills such as research skills, reading and writing across the curriculum, analysis, digital literacy, organization, and time management.  Projects often culminate in presenting the final product to an audience. 

Project-based learning differs from traditional school projects, which are often completed at the end of a unit. Instead, project-based learning is the avenue through which learning occurs. This generates a dynamic and creative atmosphere among both students and teachers, leading to heightened student engagement and improved learning outcomes. 

A unique aspect of our project-based learning approach at ILHS is our focus on Design Thinking. Originating out of Stanford University, Design Thinking is defined as “a human-centered and collaborative approach to problem solving, using a design mindset to solve complex problems” (Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO).  ILHS students use this process to approach their projects in an intentional, systematic, and thorough way.

A few more important aspects of Project-Based Learning:


Finding the solution to complex problems seldom resides in a single subject area. Project-based learning promotes and requires the integration of content knowledge and skills from multiple academic domains which moves learning away from siloed disciplines and creates cross-curricular connections. 


Challenges presented in project-based learning demand the application of knowledge and skills rather than mere memorization, recall, or recognition. Students delve into inquiry, leading to profound learning not only of academic content but also its practical application. 


In project-based learning, the teacher's role transforms from content-deliverer to facilitator, coach, or project manager. Students operate more independently, with the teacher offering support, guidance and feedback.


Expeditions are in-depth projects where the students solve a problem from their community. This can happen across the curriculum or in one classroom. They meet with experts, research, and develop various solutions to create a final product that answers their problem.