Project Lead the Way Students Stacy Boyd, Austin Farrar, Kamen Gunnlaugsson, Maverick Smith, and James Taber demonstrate their engineering faces.
Five students enrolled in the Project Lead the Way program qualified to receive college credit for Principles of Engineering. The students, Stacy Boyd, Austin Farrar, Kamen Gunnlaugsson, Maverick Smith, and James Taber, each passed the class with a minimum grade of 85, and then took two qualifying exams prepared by Project Lead the Way. Both of the exams were very rigorous but these students scored well above the national average.
When asked about the course the students said:
James Taber - “It was really fun, and I learned a lot.”
Stacy Boyd - “It was very challenging but fun.”
Austin Farrar - “I found that I learned a great deal by working on challenges in teams to accomplish very difficult tasks.”
Maverick Smith - “I found the challenges of the class were a good way to begin my future in engineering.”
Kamen Gunnlaugsson – “I learned how to apply creativity and ingenuity to solve current and future problems.”
||Western Hills High School has received national certification for its Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program. This is the second time the school has gone through the national certification process to validate its program. PLTW, a nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs, offers a rigorous world-class curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects. PLTW also prides itself on high-quality professional development of its teachers and an engaged network of business, community and university partners to give students the fullest experience.
The national PLTW recognition program distinguishes schools for successfully demonstrating a commitment to PLTW’s national standards. Additionally, certification as a PLTW school provides students with the opportunity to apply for college credit or receive college-level recognition at PLTW affiliate universities when they successfully complete select PLTW courses in high school. PLTW has more than 40 affiliate college and university partners.
In order to remain competitive in the global economy, America needs approximately 400,000 STEM college graduates annually, according to a National Business Roundtable report. Currently, the U.S. is graduating only 265,000 annually. PLTW is providing students with the skills, foundation, and proven path to college and career success in STEM areas to increase the number of STEM graduates.
James Wellman, principal of Western Hills High School said, “We’ve seen how the PLTW program draws more students to engineering and technology courses and gets them thinking about college and their careers. We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and ecstatic that our students are eligible for college-level recognition, which may include college credit for select PLTW courses, scholarships and admissions preference.”
As part of the recognition process, Denise Kahn, Assistant Principal and a team composed of teachers Tim Burson, Mike Robinson, and Michael Smith, staff, students, and members of the community submitted a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of PLTW’s Pathway To Engineering (PTE) program. A site visit by a PLTW trained team followed. PLTW’s team met with teachers, school administrators, counselors, students, and members of the school’s Partnership Team. A PLTW school’s Partnership Team (sometimes referred to as an Advisory Council) is comprised of teachers, counselors, administrators, post-secondary representatives, business and industry professionals, and other community members who actively support the PLTW program within a school.
“Western Hills High School should be congratulated for demonstrating once again its commitment to PLTW’s quality standards,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “The real winners here, however, are Western Hills students. Students benefit from PLTW’s innovative, project-based curriculum that encourages creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare Western Hills students to become the most innovative and productive in the world.”
PLTW teacher Burson added, “The beauty of PLTW courses is that our kids get to experience how a concept they learned in science applies to real-world projects, including robotics. Rather than sit passively and listen to a lecture, kids are building, developing, and creating. It’s the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in science, technology, engineering and math—fields that they might otherwise never have considered.”
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education curricular programs used in schools. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, PLTW exists to prepare students for the global economy through its world-class curriculum, high quality professional development, and an engaged network of educators, students, universities and professionals. PLTW's comprehensive curriculum has been collaboratively designed by PLTW teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators to promote critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving skills in students. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success. More than 4,200 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.