For Immediate Release
Jennifer Cahill, PLTW Director of Communications
317.669.0871 or [email protected]
PLTW Staff Helps Finish Student's Vision for Habitat for Humanity Home
INDIANAPOLIS (January 10, 2013) – On a cold December morning, the Al-Jund family of Noblesville, Ind., received a dream come true—their brand new home, built for them by Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County. Their children looked out their new front window onto their new street, a street on which just two months before, Project Lead The Way (PLTW) staff showed up to help make the home a reality.
On a sunny fall day, PLTW employees arrived at the Habitat for Humanity site with their sleeves rolled up and hammers ready to assist in the construction of a Habitat house for a local family they had never met. This particular house carried special meaning for PLTW employees; the architectural blueprint was created by a PLTW student from Noblesville High School, just down the road from PLTW’s national headquarters. The opportunity to partner with Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County, which serves the community of Hamilton County in Indiana, was a chance for the PLTW family to join forces to give a family a place to call home.
It all began when Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County’s CEO Rhett Cecil received a phone call from Joe Toms, PLTW Civil Engineering and Architecture instructor at Noblesville High School. Toms felt there were opportunities for his students’ work to benefit the local community, and after speaking with Toms and learning about the PLTW course, Cecil was impressed.
“To say the least,” said Cecil, “I was quite surprised to hear that a teacher in one of the more prominent schools in Hamilton County had a class that part of the curriculum is to design a Habitat for Humanity home.”
Cecil presented to Toms the idea of his students designing a home for a lot that Habitat was planning to build on in the coming year. Toms gladly accepted the challenge, and his students began working on the plans. Cecil says he was blown away by the final drawings, ultimately choosing student Jacob Scoles' (pictured below with Al-Jund family) design.
“The students not only adhered to the Habitat standards and the size of lot we were building on, but they also brought into their designs the unique architectural aspects from the Old Town Noblesville neighborhood that we were to build in,” Cecil said. “They did just an awesome job!”
The value in a continued PLTW Civil Engineering and Architecture class partnership with Habitat for Humanity is “simply priceless,” explained Cecil. Partnerships provide teachers and students with hands-on and real-world experiences. The product of partnerships has the possibility of reaching and impacting a far greater number of people than just those within the walls of the classroom.
“These are the leaders of tomorrow effectively leading today to make their own communities stronger, more vibrant, and interconnected,” he said.
“This kind of a partnership is what Project Lead The Way is all about,” added PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “The courses are built around the premise of providing students with hands-on, real-world projects and problems to solve. Having a group like Habitat for Humanity take a student-designed home and bring it to life really shows the power of PLTW and the work our students are doing every day.”
“In our case, their work also provides them a chance to become more engaged in the needs in their communities, and I would hope, elevate their levels of desire to get engaged in solving these needs and creating communities where hope, opportunity, and interconnectedness are part of the very fabric of the communities in which they live, learn, and serve.
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 4,700 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.