Bertram Surprises 5th Grade PLTW Students and Celebrates New Affiliate Partnership

A class of 5th grade PLTW students at Russell Ranch Elementary School in Folsom, California, was expecting visitors while they worked on their VEX robots, but they were not expecting that visitor to be the President and CEO of Project Lead The Way, Vince Bertram.

Vince surprised the class this week after having received a packet of persuasive essays written by the students. In the essays, they outlined their arguments for why it is so critically important to gain the skills learned in PLTW classes. One letter in particular stood out – a message from PLTW student Joshua Moll who wanted to meet Dr. Bertram.

During his visit, Vince had the opportunity to ask questions about what they liked in PLTW and what they thought could be improved with PLTW. While one student said he liked it all, another said it’s hard to work on something and it not work.

“What you’re learning is [that] something not working is not failure,” Vince said. “You’re learning how to problem-solve and think critically.”

After talking with the class, Vince signed yearbooks and PLTW sweatshirts and took pictures with the students.

He also visited PLTW classrooms at Inspire School for the Arts and Sciences and Chico Junior High School, where students were engaged in the hands-on learning experiences that make PLTW so effective. Seniors at Inspire told Vince how they not only learned about engineering, but how to work together.

“These experiences you’ve had are going to have relevance not just in your careers, but in your life,” he said.

Vince trip to California also celebrated the new affiliate partnership with California State University, Chico. The location of the campus will be a great benefit to northern California’s rural school districts.

“We are excited about this partnership and look forward to working together to bring PLTW to more students in California,” he said to a crowd of over 100 educators and business leaders. “Our communities, states, and nation have become better places for all of us, because of you.”

Stay current on Vince’s travels – and the latest in education and workforce development news – by following him on Twitter at @VinceBertram.