Project-Based Learning & Designing Our Tomorrow (DOT)
Ken Reimer
University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada
Today’s 21st century learner requires a new set of abilities in order to tackle the wide variety of problems and issues that our society currently faces. More than ever, our young people need to acquire the skills necessary to navigate and lead the way through these exciting and unpredictable times. Students have to be curious, imaginative, and adventurous, while still respecting tradition, inclusion, and heritage. This workshop explores the potential of project-based learning as a means of engaging students in real-world problem solving. Project-based learning can help students learn to work collaboratively and develop critical thinking skills. Several key features and elements of authentic project-based learning opportunities are identified.
Designing Our Tomorrow (DOT) began as a research collaboration (started in 2009), between the Faculty of Education and the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge. DOT brings authentic design, technology & engineering practice into the classroom. Specifically, the aim is to equip students with the appropriate 'thinking tools' to solve problems in a complex world. Students learn what it means to be an “empathic engineer", and experience real world design tasks, informed via connection to industrial practice. Students generate novel and appropriate design solutions to complex problems, placing society at the heart of this process. 
DOT has now been successfully implemented in 10 countries worldwide and continues to gain traction internationally. In this interactive symposium, the DOT team will highlight how DOT has been experienced around the globe, specifically within Canada, India, Romania and Ireland, using systematic data. They will discuss the commonalities in diverse contexts using 'Pupil Voice'. Participants will also have the opportunity to try the DOT toolkit and learn more about design principles and processes to be an effective problem solver.