George Lucas Educational Foundation

Elizabeth Garcia

Founder, Discovery Day Academy, Eduthink21 & Edutech21

In 2006, I founded a school based upon the development of critical thinking skills, creativity, and deep learning; stemming from my background in philosophy. Over the past decade, I have written a learning model and project based learning curriculum for Eduthink21, my independent research organization. The curriculum is standards and content aligned, including 60+ detailed project guides for students in Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. In 2014, as a national America Achieves fellow, I formally established Eduthink21 and EduTech21 for a broader reach. The organizations are focused on supporting schools with 21st century school and classroom design, customized project based learning curriculum, deep learning strategies, and educational technology, to name a few. The website,, will launch in 2016. It will include a download page for the project-based learning model, classroom tools, a blog, and a forum for teacher collaboration.

Currently, I am a graduate student at the Teachers College, Columbia University in the department of Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design. Previously, I earned my Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts Degree in philosophy and political science from the University of Miami.

Prior to founding,, I taught elementary and middle school in both public and charter school settings.

I served on the Board of Directors for my local early learning coalition from 2008-2010. I also founded a non-profit organization, Active Citizens for Children, to benefit children in my hometown community.

I am a life-long learner, with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to contribute to the field of education. Above all, I believe in the importance of high-quality learning for all students.

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  • Project-Based Learning

    A Starter’s Guide to PBL Fieldwork

    Five tips to help you get started with taking students out for fieldwork—a powerful component of project-based learning.
  • Teaching Strategies

    Hoist the Sails: The Great Quest for a Play-Based Classroom

    By integrating play into your classroom culture and curriculum, you can engage students' senses and pique their curiosity while infusing content through tangible, shareable activities.
  • Inquiry-Based Learning

    Preparing a Classroom Culture for Deeper Learning

    The art of thinking flourishes within an emotionally, intellectually and physically safe learning environment that is carefully constructed by the classroom teacher.
  • Project-Based Learning

    Innovative Practice: 5 Strategies for the Early Learning Classroom

    Project- and play-based learning are essential in the early grades to develop creative learning dispositions during the brain's most active period of synaptic growth.