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Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

               


Additional PTLW Classes

Last year, Grenada School District launched its new program, Project Lead the Way. The program, which focuses on preparing students with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of today's (and tomorrow's) workforce, began with pilot classes at Grenada High School, Grenada Middle School, and Grenada Elementary School. This year, the program has expanded and added more classes to its schedule.

One of the new classes offered this year in the Project Lead the Way arsenal is Principles of Engineering. Instructor Matthew Gardner, who also teaches the level one course Introduction to Engineering Design, jumped at the chance to implement this new course. Principles of Engineering expands on Introduction to Engineering Design, requiring students to actually build physical models of simulated cities, modify hydro-electrical and solar energy devices, and write programming code.

The class began the year by studying different types of electrical systems including solar energy. Construction of solar powered vehicles using models provided by Project Lead the Way taught students the basics of this alternative energy source. Students later designed and built their own solar-energy powered vehicles using what they had learned. Once the models were complete, the vehicles were taken outside and tested for reliability, speed, and efficiency. Students then reflected on the performance of their vehicles and proposed changes to improve the vehicles' operational capabilities. Project Lead the Way classes allow students to apply the science and math skills they have acquired previously in authentic, problem solving situations. Proving to students that their education actually applies in the real world fosters excitement and a desire to achieve success in their future careers. Student collaboration to solve problems that actually occur in the fields of science, technology, and engineering effectively mimics the workforce students will join once they have completed their education. The curriculum and projects prescribed by the program also allow students a chance to see first-hand they types of tasks they would face in a career of that nature.
Independent research studies reveal that PLTW students outperform their peers in school, are better prepared for post-secondary studies, and are more likely to consider careers as scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians, healthcare providers, and researchers compared to their non-PLTW peers. Many colleges actively recruit PLTW students and provide preferred admissions, scholarships, and course credit. Grenada School District strives to provide our students with classroom experiences that challenge their abilities and expand their horizons. Project Lead the Way is just one of many programs implemented to positively affect our students.