MC2 STEM High School Foundations

MC2 STEM High School was founded on the principles of STEM Education, Project-Based Learning, and Mastery Instruction.  All of these concepts help to create an enriching, engaging experience for Cleveland's most innovative students. Click the buttons above to explore more about our foundations!



Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge. In Gold Standard PBL, Essential Project


Design Elements include:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.

  • Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.

  • Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.

  • Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal

    concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.

  • Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.

  • Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work,

    obstacles and how to overcome them.

  • Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.

  • Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

“Project-based Learning requires students to go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student "voice and choice," rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high- quality, authentic products & presentations. “ (Buck Institute for Education, 2010).

Project-Based Learning at MC2 STEM High School

  • PBL instruction at MC2 STEM is built on rigorous ten-week projects called capstones

  • The focus is STEM, the capstones integrate all core subjects required by Ohio's state standards.

  • Each capstone is organized around a theme and covers topics mapped to state benchmarks.

  • They are broken into transdisciplinary units, each of which has a rubric, and one to two student deliverables for assessment.

  • Rubrics are transparent to the students as well so that they know exactly what is required for mastery.