The Program At A Glance
Nominated schools were judged against 37 performance indicators, within nine quality categories.
A select panel of PLTW State Leaders and Affiliate Directors led the evaluation process.
The 16 winning PLTW Model Schools were honored at with a Model Schools plaque that they can proudly display in their schools.
The PLTW curricula thrives on three important factors – imagination, innovation and learning. Nowhere is this more evident than in the schools selected to be 2011 PLTW Model Schools. Collectively, they encompass the best that PLTW has to offer to today’s middle and high school students. Individually, they represent outstanding examples of how schools can implement PLTW’s rigorous STEM education program to meet the unique needs of their own communities.
This section of our website is designed not only to celebrate and honor the numerous accomplishments of the 2011 PLTW Model Schools, but also to create a repository of valuable information, including profiles of exemplary programs, that other existing PLTW schools, as well as those just getting started, can draw upon to help grow and enhance their own unique PLTW programs, programs that are vital for America to remain economically competitive.
Although training American scientists is critical to our research infrastructure, the United States has never produced all of its own researchers. At present, over 25 percent of all college educated scientists and engineers and 40 percent of doctorate holders in science and engineering occupations in the United States are foreign born, according to the National Science Foundation. From 1995-2005, nearly 25 percent of science and technology start-up companies America had at least one senior executive who was foreign-born. (1)
"In the big picture of global competition and societal needs, it is critical for the United States to produce more scientists and engineers in order to sustain its leadership in research." - Commission on U.S. Federal Leadership in Health and Medicine
Along with a lot of hard work on the part of many dedicated faculty members and administrators, the 2011 PLTW Model Schools embody a set of important qualities and characteristics. Many of these reflect key elements of the performance indicators outlined in PLTW’s National Certification application and were used as part of judging and selection criteria.
For example, the PLTW program at a number of 2011 Model Schools is at full implementation, and over 25% of the full student population participates in PLTW courses. Partnerships with business, industry and postsecondary institutions are in place and actively support the curriculum. Many of the Model Schools have developed a robust student recruitment strategy, which often features ongoing coverage of their program by the local media. Professional development is a mainstay of most 2011 Model Schools, with teachers and counselors not only attending PLTW summer training programs, but in some cases, taking an active role in leading them. And all of the Model Schools selected provide their students with the opportunity to work with professionals in STEM fields.
(1)National Science Board, "Science and Engineering Labor Force", Science and Engineering Indicators 2008: NSB 08-01, NSB 08-01A, Chapter 3 (Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, January 2008).