Lots of people these days are on the project-based learning (PBL) bandwagon, but how well are projects being designed and implemented? Are they getting the results people hope for? Are projects only "dessert" but not the "main course?" Building on 15 years of work with teachers and school leaders and a major research review, the Buck Institute for Education has formulated a "gold standard" for effective PBL. Hear about exemplary projects in various grade levels and subject areas, and learn how to make sure projects engage students and are rigorous, align with standards, and build college and career readiness skills. We will also explore our gold standard model for project based teaching practices and its implications for professional development.