On the Road with Vince

The last few weeks and the upcoming week have been, and will be, busy weeks for Vince. Last week, Vince traveled from Indiana to Iowa to California for PLTW events. This week, he is in Dallas, TX, and Phoenix, AZ, and next week will travel back to Texas for one of the largest, and most prominent, education conferences in the nation – South by Southwest Edu (SXSWedu). Here are the highlights from Vince’s past and upcoming travels.

  • National Engineers Week and the 40th Annual Engineering Career Guidance Conference, Cedar Rapids, IA: Vince’s morning keynote speech kicked off the event for over 375 PLTW high school juniors and seniors from the Cedar Rapids region. “Our nation’s future depends on you,” Vince told the students, encouraging them to persist in their STEM studies despite the challenges and rigor they will face. “It will get hard, but it won’t be nearly as hard as going through life without the skills you need to be successful.” After the event, several students approached Vince, thanking both him and Project Lead The Way. “I always thought I would study engineering, but PLTW confirmed that I definitely want to be an engineer,” said one student.
  •  California PLTW Conference, Sacramento, CA: The California PLTW State Conference was once again a successful event, bringing together nearly 500 educators, administrators, business and industry leaders, and policymakers. In addition to Vince’s keynote, attendees heard from representatives of Chevron, SunPower, and other organizations who spoke enthusiastically of their support for PLTW and the tremendous work they see students doing in the classroom. Congratulations to the three teachers who were recognized as California’s PLTW Teachers of the Year:
Engineering – Charisse Williams, Ernest McBride High School Biomedical Science – Ellie Vandiver, University City High School Gateway – Dale Waldo, W. E. Mitchell Middle School
  • Texas PLTW Conference, Dallas, TX: The annual Texas State Conference grew to approximately 600 PLTW educators and administrators this year, making it the second largest PLTW state conference in the country. Vince delivered the keynote on the first day of the conference. In addition to breakout sessions, the conference featured groups of students from across Texas who showcased their class work, wowing Vince with their enthusiasm and demonstrating critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. Three students from the Biomedical Science program at Martin High School in Arlington discussed their studies of diet, PICA disorder, Type II diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease, with one student commenting that the in-depth nature of the Biomedical Science courses has helped her decide on a career as a physician’s assistant. Another group of students from Forney High School brought along their 3-D printer, complete with their own innovative features. Faced with the issue of wanting to feed multiple colors into the printer, the students designed and printed arms to hold up to five spools of plastic wire and wire threaders to keep the plastic wire in place as it was fed into the machine.
  • SXSWedu, Austin, TX: Next week, Vince and a team from PLTW will travel to Austin for the annual SXSWedu Conference and Festival. On Tuesday, March 4, Vince and Caroline Hendrie, journalist and president of the Education Writers Association, will co-present a panel titled, “Teaching American Values: Innovation and Creativity,” exploring what works in today’s classroom to create interest in STEM, foster critical thinking, and nurture these competencies. Vince and Caroline were chosen to present at the conference from among thousands of applications. Thanks to all in the PLTW network who voted! Follow @PLTWorg on Twitter for live tweeting during the panel on Tuesday, March 4 from noon – 1 p.m. CST.

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.