Meet Kay Sturm

From  Hawaii to Alaska, Kay has had  a diverse array of experiences and roles in education. Kay received her Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California; her dissertation focused on the “Facilitation of Authentic Teaching and Learning in a PBL Environment“. She is an adjunct faculty professor for the University of Southern California, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, and works as the lead education consultant with clients partnered with The Umi Project. She is also a National Faculty member for the national organization, PBL Works, under the Buck Institute for Education, and facilitates PBL101 workshops around the country.

In 2016, she was named Charter School Teacher of the Year in the State of Hawaii  while working as a middle school teacher at SEEQS public charter school (the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability). She started as a special education teacher at Waianae High School on the island of Oahu. She has worked at both the middle and high school level in the classroom and at the leadership level, as an instructional coach and coordinator for student-focused experiences. She is passionate about teaching content through the lens of sustainability, project-based learning and place-based education.

As a consultant, Kay has worked on projects to bring an inquiry-based design into higher education course work. She has partnered with organizations building new schools and restructuring school systems. She speaks and presents to educators at conferences, such as ECET Hawaii and Schools of the Future. She has facilitated discussions among youth and adults around their community, and paneled education events, such as the film, Most Likely to Succeed with Ted Dintersmith and It’s Great to be a Teacher Hawaii. ​Kay was recently featured in an education-based podcast through MLTSinHawaii on her work with PBL and intentional design.

​Her work with The Umi Project centers around supporting schools in intentionally designing organizational structures, work-place culture, and curriculum that supports student-centered learning.

Our mission

We believe that empowered communities are intentionally designed, live with purpose, and contribute to a sustainable, healthy future for generations to come. 

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