How two Biomed teachers use Trello to execute on Project Lead The Way

This is the first of many Showcases highlighting incredible Atlassian users in Education!

And Michael Burke and Josh Clemmer are setting the Showcase bar high. The pair of Biomed Science teachers at Bel Air High School are pioneers of the recent trend in project based learning, a style of teaching that allows students to develop real-world skills by investigating complex problems and challenges. Michael and Josh are incorporate project based learning into their curriculums through Project Lead the Way (PLTW), which is the nation's largest science, education, tech, and math project based learning organization. (And to sweeten the deal, they use Trello as part of their process)! 

Michael adds more color about the value PLTW brings to his Biomed curriculum, saying, “The entirety of their assessment is based on projects, so one of the key aspects of that is organizing your project, creating a timeline, responsibilities, and checklists. All the types of things you can use Trello for, which is why we enjoy using it so much.”

Example of a project based learning assignment flow

  1. Divide students up into groups of 3 or 4
  2. Have groups create a new Trello board including all group members
  3. Give groups instruction sheets for their projects
  4. Groups dissect instruction sheets, creating new Trello cards for each requirement/task they need to address to complete their project
  5. For each card, groups discuss and assign due dates so that they have a clear sense of timeline and sequence and so that they can meet their ultimate deadline.
  6. Once groups complete their projects, they leave peer review notes directly on other group's Trello boards, closing the feedback loop! 
  7. Hi-fives all around!


You can interact with this board in Trello - Click here!


Project based learning: Emergency room edition 

At the end of the day, Michael and Josh like that they can apply their PLTW system they build with Trello to so many things. 

Recently they used Trello for an emergency room triage lesson. Students were given 15 patients, each with case files on why they were admitted to the ER. Students had to decide who should see a doctor and who should wait.

Michael and Josh created a card for each patient and students would drag the cards to urgent or non-urgent lists. Students would then comment on the patient cards and debate their choices.


Are you using Trello in your school? Are you a fan of project based learning? We'd love to hear about it! 



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