Waynesville’s PLTW receives national certification
Waynesville High School received national certification this week for its Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program, a curriculum designed to promote science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on and real-world applications.
“Waynesville High School should be congratulated for demonstrating its commitment to PLTW’s quality standards,” says PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “The real winners here, however, are Waynesville’s 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 Waynesville R-VI School District students for the global economy.”
Teachers Errica Vaughn and William DeMalade added that PLTW courses give kids experience seeing how a concept they learned in math applies to real-world projects.
“The students are excited and eager to get started everyday on their projects and content,” DeMalade says. “These hands-on experiences will engage more students in science, technology, engineering and math—fields that they might otherwise never have considered.”
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.
“The PLTW program draws more students to engineering, math and science and gets them thinking about college and their careers,” says WHS Principal Courtney Long. “The project-based class really keeps the students engaged.”
One of the first steps to receiving accreditation is a self-evaulation. Kymberly McCall, I-STEM-21 project director; the I-STEM-21 team; teachers Errica Vaughn and Bill DeMalade; Principal Courtney Long; and counselors Theresa McNutt, Rick Vernon and Michael Armstrong; and third party evaluator Dr. Susan Gettys submitted a self-assessment of the high school and middle school’s implementation of PLTW’s engineering 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.
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 activities, projects and problems. 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 50 college, university and research partners, including Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.
For more information on PLTW, Waynesville R-VI School District go to the district website under “Programs/Services.” You may also contact Jennifer Cahill at the national office at (317) 669-0871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexis Ouellette and Terrick Miller test their bridge building skills.
Waynesville High School students were interviewed during the certification visit by PLTW evaluators Mr. Hosick and Ms. Galbraith. Waynesville students who were interviewed included Natalia Bermundez, Austin Camplejohn, Alexis Ouellette and Michael Lewis.
Students in Errica Vaughn’s PLTW principles of engineering class test bridges.