Since implementing PLTW in 2014, Campbell-Kapolei Complex Area on the Hawaiian island of Oahu has grown to provide access to hands-on career learning opportunities for students in complete K-12 pathways.
“Classrooms have become more engaging with hands-on learning, [providing students with] with collaboration and problem-solving skills,” said Campbell-Kapolei Complex Area Interim Superintendent Sean Tajima.
The complex first implemented PLTW Launch, which is designed for students in grades PreK-5, in eight elementary schools then expanded to offer PLTW Gateway for students in grades 6-8. In subsequent years, the complex added PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, and PLTW Biomedical Science to build full pathways for high school students.
When complex leaders learned about PLTW in 2013, they particularly liked the way it connected classrooms with industry needs and provided standards-aligned curriculum that would prepare students for jobs.
Justin Delos Reyes, PLTW teacher and president of Hawaii's Computer Science Teachers Association, sees his students taking ownership of their learning and connecting it with learning opportunities outside of the classroom. For him, these connections are key elements for empowering students with the knowledge and skills to have enduring careers.
“PLTW adds value to its curriculum and students’ experiences through its business and university and college partnerships,” Delos Reyes said. “Through these partnerships, PLTW is one of the few curriculum providers that has a network that provides opportunities not available through other curricular programs."
PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram recently visited Campbell-Kapolei and heard PLTW Computer Science students present their solutions to local community problems using apps in a “Shark Tank” style event.
“What you’re learning in this class really matters in the real world,” Bertram shared. “You’re using technology to solve big problems, and companies are looking for employees who can do that.”
PLTW is committed to partnering with schools and districts to expand access to this kind of learning experience, and recently hosted a group of business and education leaders in Honolulu for a conversation around empowering students with the transportable skills that will help them be successful no matter what career path they choose.
To stay up to date on all of Vince's travels and the latest in education and workforce development news, please follow @vincebertram on Twitter.