Magnify Learning is a teacher driven non-profit organization dedicated to expanding the use of high quality project based learning (PBL) by offering project-based learning professional development in the form of customized open workshops, on-site workshops, and administrative workshops. Our emphasis is on building relational culture and authenticity.
We don’t just talk about transforming education through project-based learning; we are actively engaged in doing project-based learning and implementing it in schools all across the country. One of our passions is to use project-based learning professional development to get educators to their sweet spot, which we define as a place where they have purpose and can live out their why!
OUR CORE VALUES
We believe in the importance of building a relational culture with and for the educators with whom we partner which translates into their relationships with students.
We have a high regard for and continually seek authenticity in our projects and trainings because we believe it leads to deeper learning, greater engagement, and passion. We value the modeling of project-based learning best practices and processes and ensure that all we do serves to put PBL in action.
We are committed to providing a customized experience for the educators with whom we partner which honors the good work they are already doing and enables the sustainability of project-based learning in their school and district.
For the past four years (2015-2018) Magnify Learning has both strengthened its mission and core values and has continued to build upon its project-based learning roots. Its focus has expanded to creating sustainable systems of project-based learning across the country through high-quality PBL professional development.
We've held 122 workshops and trained 3,220 educators in project-based learning. Our work has impacted over 500 schools and over 100 districts. We’ve held trainings in 10 states. We’ve spent over 400 hours coaching 8 of our school partners in successfully implementing the PBL process. In addition we’ve taken 80 educators through our PBL Certification process.
We are passionate about transforming education, and we love sharing project-based learning with others!
Ryan SteueR, executive director
Ryan Steuer has been serving thousands of educators for over a decade through professional development in Project Based Learning, Service Learning, and all things Technology, Ryan is ‘Living His Why.’ Ryan started his career as an Industrial Engineer but made a major shift to teach 8th grade English on the southwest side of Indianapolis at Decatur Middle School. During his 8 year teaching career (2005-2013) he helped start Apex, a project-based learning model within DMS. After seeing results in the classroom, Ryan began teaching others to help spread the practice and benefits of student-centered classrooms. After his teaching career, he continued to work with youth through Mission Indy and Generation On (2013-2015). During that period he started Magnify Learning (2014) in order to provide professional development that helped equip educators with project-based learning tools. With a touch of whimsy and storytelling, Ryan continues to encourage educators to ignite their passion in the classroom by 'Living Their Why'! To read more about Ryan’s PBL journey check out his book, Project-Based Learning Structure & Stories: Wins, Fails, and Where to Start.
Bob Abrams, director of administration
Bob Abrams currently works with the Indiana Afterschool Network (IAN), serving as the coordinator of that organization’s STEM initiative. Previously, Bob was employed for six years by Economic Opportunities through Education (EcO15) where he worked with educators and businesses in southeastern Indiana in support of programs to prepare SE Indiana students for the STEM-based jobs in that region. In that role, Bob was a co-founder in 2009 of the PBL Academy, a professional development program to enable educators to utilize project based learning. He has extensive experience in small business and worked for Cummins Inc for twenty-two years in the areas of financial management and process improvement. He was an 11 year member of the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation Board of School Trustees, chairs the Indiana STEM Education Taskforce.
Diane Clancy, Director of Professional Development & Coaching
Diane Clancy served as the principal of Columbus Signature Academy – Fodrea Campus (CSAF), a Pre-K to 6 wall-to-wall PBL school in the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC), which opened in the fall of 2010 as one of two BCSC elementary schools in the first K-12 PBL pathway in the US. In 2012, CSA Fodrea was recognized for the highest percentage of growth on the ISTEP+ assessment in the state of Indiana. Diane, along with her entire staff received their PBL certifications during the 2014-2015 school year. She retired as an elementary school principal at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Diane became a teacher to help children to be all they could possibly be, academically and as productive, contributing citizens of this country. She became an administrator because she “wanted to create a learning environment where every student would be successful.”
Sara Payne, Director of Online Operations & Marketing
Sara Payne started her teaching career in a non-traditional classroom overseas working with Hungarian high school and college students. After returning to the United States she spent nine years teaching at New Tech IDEAS, a project based learning community housed within Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis. New Tech IDEAS was a pioneering school for the New Tech Network in Indiana—being one of the first to implement a project-based learning instructional model. Sara spent her career designing and implementing project-based learning curriculum in the classroom across multiple grade levels. She served as the Teacher Lead for New Tech IDEAS for two years and as a part of the New Tech Leadership Team for eight years. As a PBL Certified facilitator, her goal is to use her experience and skills set to help facilitators implement project-based learning and transform their classrooms.
Andrea Behling, Data Coordinator
Andrea Behling began teaching at CSA New Tech, the high school of the first K-12 PBL pathway, in 2015. CSA New Tech has been revolutionary for education, paving the way for PBL practice in Indiana and setting an example for schools and educators around the world. Andrea facilitates World History and American History - a course that integrates US History and English 11 in a PBL environment. In addition to the role of Data Coordinator, Andrea is also a PBL certified facilitator for Magnify Learning, and hopes to spread her love and passion for PBL to educators across the country.
Suzanne Diehn, director of PBL certification
Suzanne Diehn began her teaching career in Michigan where she taught middle and high school. In 2010 she joined Columbus Signature Academy - Fodrea campus as a intermediate teacher. She currently teaches at Clifty Creek elementary, another PBL focused school, in the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation. She was one of the first cohorts to receive their PBL Certification in 2012. She has led PBL professional development for the past five years, working with elementary educators.
Kate Cain, Administrative Assistant
Kate started her teaching career in Special Education and transitioned into a PBL setting as a Kindergarten Facilitator in 2012. She currently teaches kindergarten at Columbus Signature Academy- Fodrea Campus (CSA Fodrea), which is the beginning of the K-12 PBL Pathway in BCSC (Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation). She is certified in PBL and hosts various walk-throughs, observations and panels in her building. She enjoys teaching through PBL and loves watching her kindergarten students thrive every school year with authentic projects that expand student knowledge and giving back to the community. She is also a certified facilitator for Magnify Learning with a strong passion for the perfect combination of PBL and early childhood. Kate encourages facilitators to begin PBL practices in early childhood and would love to help you get started on your journey. Please feel free to contact Kate with any questions regarding PBL implementation in early childhood settings.