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About PAST

Our Story 

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 that question.

By Partnering Anthropology with Science and Technology, we invite the world to design, construct, and engage in experiences that link learning to life. To date, over 2.7 Million students and more than 22,000 educators have been influenced by our work and yet, with all we’ve accomplished, we feel there is so much more to do.

How do we link learning to life?

Linking Learning to Life is a real challenge: the PAST Foundation plans 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. Learn more here.

Mission and Vision

Our Vision

By Partnering Anthropology with Science and Technology, we invite the world to design, construct, and engage in experiences that link learning to life.

Our Mission

PAST joins forces with community, industry, and educators, integrating education to encompass transdisciplinary teaching and learning to better reflect relevant real world experience.

Anthropology + STEM = Transdisciplinary Problem-Based Learning

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 engaging industry and education to bridge the workforce gap.


Where We Are

For over 23 years, the PAST Foundation, a non-profit organization, has been a leader in designing innovative educational opportunities across the nation, bringing problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. PAST’s Innovation Lab was named as a promising example to “Re-imagine High School” as featured in Forbes. PAST has been 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.

PAST has also been recognized by CGI America and former President Bill Clinton for its outstanding work and for its achievements in improving STEM education in rural America. The PAST Innovation Lab was recognized by the Obama Administration’s White House Summit on High School Design. PAST works diligently to provide creative, innovative, and rigorous solutions ensuring high quality educational experiences for all.

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