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Annual Report 2023

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

Letter from the CEO

I’m delighted to present the 2023 Annual Report to our valued partners and supporters. With your support and the dedication of our team, Educurious has experienced remarkable growth. Here are some key highlights:

Our community-based co-design program is a cornerstone of our work. In 2022, we collaborated with school districts to develop 12 project-based learning curriculum units. This approach has expanded and evolved, and we’re now co-designing over 50 instructional units with states and districts, including Investigating History, a full-year third- and fourth-grade social studies curriculum funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

We’re also proud to announce that in June, Educurious welcomed Sprocket into its fold. Developed by Lucas Education Research in collaboration with field experts and educators, Sprocket is the sole open educational resources (OER) platform offering evidence-based, full-year, project-based learning courses alongside educator-focused support. We’re integrating our services and offerings into Sprocket to provide educators with even more tailored support to implement the curriculum.

Our middle school social studies curriculum has gained rapid traction, with adoption by districts ranging from small rural communities to large urban centers like Clark County School District in Nevada and Denver Public Schools. These adoptions are significantly increasing access to engaging, student-driven, and historically truthful humanities education.

Lastly, we’ve outlined our next five-year strategy in collaboration with partners and stakeholders. This strategy prioritizes intentional and sustainable impact, guiding us toward continued recruitment of a diverse workforce committed to equity and the promotion of a transformative narrative on teaching and learning.

As I prepare for retirement after 14 years with Educurious, I am profoundly grateful for the support and opportunities I’ve encountered. Thank you for being a part of this journey.

Our Focus

Leading transformative learning in school systems

Educurious recognizes the continuum of inquiry learning that sits at the center of the Project-Based Learning (PBL) landscape. PBL creates an environment where students have agency in their learning and can fuel their developing knowledge and culminating presentations with their own interests, identities, and ways of knowing.

Through project-based learning students are inspired to gain content knowledge in core subjects while also building skills in communication, collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. We do this work to ensure that students are seen, heard, and prepared for the future they choose.

Educurious excels in providing tailored solutions to address the unique needs of our partners.

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages


Sprocket: Powered by Educurious

Created by Lucas Education Research in partnership with field experts and educators, Sprocket is the only Open Educational Resource (OER) platform providing access to evidence-based, full-year, project-based learning courses alongside a community of educator-focused support. Sprocket’s curriculum is wide-ranging, from 3rd Grade Science to A.P. Government & Politics. Sprocket offers something for learners in your classroom.

We are so thrilled that Sprocket has moved to its new home with our team at Educurious. At Educurious, Sprocket is available to educators alongside a community of peer support and collaboration.

Laptop with a screenshot of the Sprocket homepage

Scaling Sprocket: From research to practice

Engaged educators

We continue to serve thousands of educators who use Sprocket to access no-cost curriculum—on their own, or connected to a community of peers and collaborators.

Ongoing district implementation

San Francisco Unified School District continues to use Sprocket for their core middle school science curriculum. Detroit Public Schools Community District still uses the grades 3–5 Multiple Literacies in PBL courses.

Expanding partnerships

We are supporting a group of New York City teachers in their implementation of the Knowledge in Action courses, of which several Educurious staff were the original developers.

What's Next?

There is so much more in store for us with Sprocket in 2024.

K–2 courses

We’re adding K–2 to the existing 3–5 ML-PBL courses and will offer the full K–5 science curriculum to school districts for adoption.

Ethnic Studies Collection

We’re building an Ethnic Studies Collection with support from the Library of Congress. Explore our Latine series now and stay tuned for new ethnic studies units.

Sprocket research story

We’re telling the Sprocket research story at the National Science Teaching Association and American Educational Research Association annual meetings. If you’re there, join us!

Three Latine series posters

Humanities curriculum

Districts and states have long struggled to find standards-aligned humanities curriculum that centers historically marginalized peoples, histories, and lands. In response, Educurious has been increasingly invited to facilitate community-based collaborative design, or co-design. In 2023, our humanities team led the co-design of more than 30 units with multiple district partners to meet this growing demand.

Investigating History logo next to an illustration of two people reading a book, with question marks above their head.

Increasing access to engaging, meaningful learning

Social studies units co-designed with district teams helped teachers increase student belonging, create more joyful and authentic learning, and strengthen connections to local communities and the world.

Meeting local needs

2023 involved the following co-design partnerships:

  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA)
  • Denver Public Schools (CO)
  • Federal Way School District (WA)
  • Tacoma Public Schools (WA)
  • North Kitsap School District, Suquamish Tribe, and Port Gamble
  • S’Klallam Tribe (WA)
Teachers at the center

Co-design presents a unique professional growth opportunity. Teachers provide input on a unit’s design and field test the curriculum. This collaborative experience deepens disciplinary content knowledge and builds PBL teaching practices.

Deeper community partnerships

In one example, Educurious led co-design of a kindergarten unit about the storytelling knowledge and practices of the two tribes in the district’s area. Partnerships with Indigenous communities also informed co-design in Denver and Massachusetts.

Students in a science class put the final touches on their class presentation.

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages

Student feedback

In our work with Denver Public Schools, high school students reported the following feedback about their experiences:

  • Course materials were challenging and allowed them to think deeply.
  • Topics shared some part of their lived experience, culture, or identity.
  • Materials helped them gain understanding of other cultures and practices.
  • Materials and topics helped them understand other cultures or cultural practices.
  • Tasks and materials encouraged them to learn more about equity, justice, and/or oppression.

Data collected by survey in 2023. Denver Public Schools high school demographics: 25.5% White, 13.4% Black, 3% Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander, 52.2% Hispanic/Latino, 0.6% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.5% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

STEM curriculum

Educurious is addressing the gap in structured dual credit courses by developing an innovative high school curriculum for the Renewable Energy Vehicle and Infrastructure Technician Training (REVIT) program that combines science with career and technical education (CTE). Elementary educators have also expressed interest in interdisciplinary units; in a project funded by Boeing, we designed two OER units to support fourth- and fifth-grade science and language arts standards.

Graphic that says Crash Course in Car Design

Paving the way for STEM careers

Enhanced Student Engagement

Early feedback indicates that students find REVIT course content highly relevant and engaging; some shared they feel they’re learning more in a single unit than in an entire year of traditional science education.

Increased access to STEM

These interdisciplinary and dual credit courses particularly resonate with students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM, broadening participation in critical and growing fields such as clean energy and tomorrow’s transportation infrastructure.

Revived instructor enthusiasm

Teachers report new energy in their classrooms as the PBL curriculum engages students’ interests and concerns, including sustainable transportation, urban design, community safety, and environmental issues.

Smoke & Haze: Hazardous Horizons poster with three modules
Guardians of the Block: Safe Communities by Design poster with three modules
Crash Course poster with four modules
Fueling the Future poster with four modules depicted as gas and electric stations

Professional learning

Educurious focuses on curriculum-based professional learning and systemic change. To expand statewide capacity to implement Massachusetts’ Investigating History curriculum, we launched a certified provider training to prepare professional learning facilitators. Also in Massachusetts, we launched the fourth cohort of grant recipients of the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, which supports teams of teachers. In Idaho, we will begin work with our fifth cohort of school teams working toward STEM certification using STEM PBL as their lever for change.

Middle school history teachers discuss their lesson plans for teaching about the Great Depression.

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

Developing educator expertise

Centering culturally responsive teaching

In our work with teachers, we emphasize connecting classroom work with students’ lived experiences, cultural backgrounds, and communities. Our 21st Century Learning work is centered on students taking an active role in identifying and solving community problems.

Expanding just-in-time learning

We are supporting teachers’ content knowledge in social studies with videos for our Washington State History and Investigating History curricula. We developed several self-paced online courses for PBL that educators can use anytime, anywhere.

Enhancing teacher efficacy

In an outside analysis (CIRCLE at Tufts University, 2023) of the Educurious-developed teacher professional learning, most teachers reported that the program was effective for:

  • Helping them understand the overall structure, goals, and pacing
  • Preparing them to implement new practices or improve current practices
  • Deepening their understanding of content to be taught
  • Addressing cultural relevance and helping the curriculum relate to their students’ lived experiences
  • Scaffolding and differentiation for specific students and classroom contexts

Looking Ahead

A middle school science team collaborates on their upcoming lessons.

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

Some of the exciting projects in development at Educurious

Establishing scalable professional learning communities in Sprocket where teachers can support each other to implement and adapt high-quality PBL curriculum.

Developing new self-paced professional learning courses for educator and leadership teams. We are excited to investigate how AI can contribute to personalized professional learning.

Expanding on our REVIT clean energy course with new dual credit opportunities that provide exciting pathways from high school to careers in emerging fields.

Launching the Educurious Design Lab with new district cohorts for community-based co-design.

By the Numbers

Where we work

Map of the United States

Students reached


Educators reached


Financial Outlook

Our work is expanding

As we all well know, the global pandemic put serious pressure on budgets for many education nonprofits. Not only did Educurious weather this storm, we have emerged stronger than ever. Our portfolio of work has expanded exponentially over the last 18 months. We are beyond excited about what this growth means for our future and the future of the students and teachers we serve.

A teacher helps students during a coding lesson at Sutton Middle School.

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

Revenue summary

Fiscal Years ending June 2020 – June 2023

Click on chart to view it larger

You are a part of this

To the numerous educators, students, parents, donors, sponsors, partners, staff, and friends who have continued to support the Educurious mission, we offer our sincerest gratitude. Educurious is expanding from a “start-up” into a “scale-up” thanks to your faith in our work and your belief that we are making a real difference for educators and thereby making a difference in the lives of the students and families we all serve. Together, we’ll continue to help launch young people into lives of purpose and hope.

We invite you to connect with us. In these challenging times, your support makes a difference. Together, let’s work to ensure that young people can realize the future they aspire to. Reach out, and let’s make a positive impact together.

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages