Gil Leal (UCLA), Deborah Peek-Brown (Michigan State University), Steve Arnold (George Lucas Educational Foundation), Amber Graeber (Des Moines Public Schools), and Linda Darling-Hammond (Learning Policy Institute) discuss Where Does the Need to Know Come From? How Project-based Learning Wakes up the Brain and Boosts Student Achievement at the 2021 ASU+GSV Summit. With all the concerns about “Covid slide” and pandemic “learning loss” educators are actively seeking ways to engage, motivate and accelerate students this school year. Consider a typical third grade science class where a teacher might ask: “Who can tell me two reasons why dinosaurs are extinct?” Now consider a project-based learning classroom where the question is: “Why do I see so many squirrels but can’t find any stegosauruses?” Which approach spurs the need to know? In this panel, you will hear from teachers, researchers and a student about rigorous PBL curricula and learn about new PBL studies that make a powerful case that K-12 students in all settings from all backgrounds make significant learning gains when offered active, challenging, authentic and relevant learning experiences.