Project-based learning (PBL) consists in learning through projects that youth carry out individually or collectively, and which they choose more or less autonomously based on their interests (Markham, 2011). These projects are often grounded in the lives of youth and their communities. They typically focus on a problem to be solved (for example, how can migrant students be better included at school?) or a phenomenon to elucidate (why does salt prevent black ice from forming?). Youth thus have to design, communicate, adjust and bring to completion projects that are often interdisciplinary by drawing on a wide array of skills and sources of knowledge. By mobilizing a broader range of abilities, these projects allow a greater number of youth to shine, notably those whose interests and strengths are devalued by traditional pedagogical approaches.
PBL is employed in many formal and informal educational contexts. Depending on the context, different aspects of it are emphasized: technology, ties to the local community, entrepreneurship, environmental education, etc. The common goals of these multiple variations of PBL remain to deepen knowledge, to develop skills (notably collaboration, critical thinking or creativity) and to foster the desire to learn.