While reality talent competitions continue to shine the spotlight on the entertainment business - science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers are learning how Project Lead the Way can help them compete for their students’ attention.
Rebecca Soriano will coordinate PLTW, a rigorous and innovative curriculum that employs the STEM approach to learning at University City High School.
“PLTW is a proven, research-based program used across the country,” Soriano explained. “This fall, our students (mostly freshmen) will start earning college credit for pre-engineering courses that develop critical thinking skills through hands-on, project-based learning. They will take on real-world challenges in a rigorous and fun program designed to help them gain entry into careers in the sciences and engineering; very important in today’s job market.”
The classes will allow students to use cutting-edge technology to create three-dimensional plastic replicas of catapults, bridges, robots and more.
The current plan includes year-long elective courses that build over four years and culminate in a capstone course where students team up and use engineering design processes to solve a technical problem.
Soriano said teachers will prepare this summer by participating in an intense two-week training at the Missouri University of Science and Technology where they will engage in every project their students will build over the course of the school year. Teachers will then have ongoing access to PLTW’s virtual academy, which has an expanded network of resources.
Soriano said School District of University City staff, administrators and Board members have been pursuing this opportunity for some time.
“One of the really big reasons we are going toward PLTW is to help more of our students become college or career ready in math and science,” she said. “However, even if a student is not interested in technology or engineering, he or she can still benefit because it’s about creativity and building made all the more exciting by three-dimensional software and robotics.”
“Whatever path our students choose to follow after graduation, PLTW courses will assist them in their ability to think critically, creatively problem solve and work collaboratively,” Soriano said. “Through PLTW, we are preparing more UCHS students for the high-tech, high-skill global economy that awaits them.”
If you or your student has an interest in learning more about PLTW, please contact your school guidance counselor or call Rebecca Soriano at 314-290-4049.