Project Learning Network (PLN) Brings Project Management to Youth

 

17 December 2016

Kendra Modzelewski

Written by Kendra Modzelewski

PLN Destination Imagination

Project based learning incorporates PM, and teaches youth valuable skills in order to help them achieve impressive outcomes, like the one seen here. Image courtesy Destination Imagination.

The Project Learning Network (PLN), launched by PMIEF in 2012, is a coalition of educational organizations committed to promoting project-based learning for youth around the world. Recently, the PLN convened for a global meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the summit, leaders and members from 16 organizations spent three days practicing what they preach: Project Management (PM). By improving their craft, PLN educators can provide the best project-based learning principles to students and educators.

The network acts as a forum for international educational nonprofit organizations that provide opportunities for PM education.  The PLN, a group of  40 member organizations reaching 35 million youth globally, focuses on impacting youth through skills and training. First hand accounts of students who have received education from PLN-member professionals give a window into PLN project-based learning in action.

Braedy and his teammates built a car as part of PLN member organization Destination Imagination’s Challenge Program. In itself, building a car is an impressive feat. What is more impressive is Braedy’s willingness to collaborate with his peers to create an outcome that could only be the product of teamwork:

“We mostly use project management to figure out which parts of our solution get done when.  For example, this year we used our project management skills to decide we need to figure out what we were capable of doing for the vehicle to travel before we could think about our play idea. We needed time to test several ideas first.  We also knew that if we didn’t start working on our story by December, we would be too late to have it prepared for our first competition.  Every meeting we figure out our next steps and assign homework – who will do what by when.” - Braedy G., age 13

Camy, another PLN protege, illustrates multiple project management skills she has learned: "My team creates a spreadsheet with our challenge broken down into different projects based on what we are scored on. We then assign due dates and leaders to each mini project and continue to check back and update the sheet to see what we've done and what we need to do.  We color code projects based on how quickly they need to be completed." - Camy G., age 15

These first-hand accounts show project-based learning and project management training active in the classroom. Through the PLN, students develop skills for life like teamwork, time management, and problem-solving ensuring success in their futures.

If you are interested in learning more about the PLN, contact diane.fromm@pmi.org.