About PAST

how we began

In 2000, an international group of anthropologists, field and research scientists, museum curators and educators asked the question: how can we connect real world scientific research with classrooms and the public? Dr. Annalies Corbin founded the PAST Foundation as the answer to the question. PAST helps schools and districts develop transformative learning strategies. PAST’s intensive hands-on approach with administrators and teachers is intensive. It’s not always easy but it is rewarding.

How We Link Learning to Life?

Linking Learning to Life is a real challenge: the PAST Foundation plan to improve how we educate our communities is different for every teacher and every classroom. Teachers make the difference. We embrace this challenge, and work everyday to make a difference in the lives of teachers and students.



Anthropology + STEM = TPBL

PAST staff are anthropologists, researchers and educators. We believe understanding complex societies – like schools and communities – drive improvements in education. Our work in school design and consultation guides schools as they transition to transdisciplinary problem-based STEM learning. Teacher engagement, student learning and community involvement in these schools is remarkable. (Data supplied by schools backs this up; we hope you take the time to review it.)

With our community partners, school administrators and teachers PAST reaches thousands of students and educators who embrace TPBL. It’s the blend of culture and education TPBL really is Anthropology + STEM!


Where We Are

Founded in 2000, PAST Foundation is a 501(c) (3) charitable, nonprofit organization. Celebrating 20 years of innovative educational practices, PAST has been a leader in designing STEM education across the nation, bringing problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. Created in 2015, the PAST Innovation Lab, an independently owned and operated R&D prototyping facility, was named as a promising example to Re-imagine High School as featured inForbes and recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design.

Over the years, PAST has been recognized for many awards and has been the recipient of numerous grants including being recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report. PAST was the only educational entity in Ohio to be included in this publication.