Parents Share What PLTW Means to Them
Tim Velegol is the PLTW Engineering Site Coordinator for Riverside High School, a PLTW Distinguished School in Durham, North Carolina.
I reached out to the parents of students from the classes of 2017-19 to provide testimonials on what the PLTW experience means to their kids and to them. The sample of responses below paints a thorough picture of what PLTW Engineering looks like to the families who heard about it, decided to sign up for it, and were served by it.
- "PLTW gives students a basic grounding in problem-solving under constraints, often in settings that demand teamwork – with all the benefits and challenges associated with role definition, accountability, leadership/followership, and incorporation of different ideas and approaches. It also fosters attention to time management (how to juggle curricular demands with co-curricular activities), organization (lots of material to keep track of and lots of analytical work to document), and public speaking (through required presentations). One only has to attend a session of group project presentations to see all of these skills in action."
- "PLTW has provided my children with concrete, hands-on learning experiences, which have allowed them to better evaluate careers in engineering and technical fields. Most high school classes do not provide tangible experiences for students that help them hone in on career paths. Students who engage in PLTW classes excel in other core classes because they see a direct correlation to future educational and career opportunities."
- "Our son had an excellent PLTW Engineering experience at Riverside. The PLTW courses are the most challenging available (with the possible exception of AP Chemistry!) and for college-bound students, seeking out those challenges is incredibly important. Our son learned that he’s not passionate about engineering and he’ll pursue a different path in college, but some of the possibilities he’s considering (computer science and environmental science) were inspired by his PLTW Engineering coursework. The critical thinking, organizational, and other skills he gained through his PLTW courses will be incredibly beneficial to him no matter what field he chooses."
- "PLTW classes are different in that they allow students to be creative. There is not just one answer to a question. The classes are more engaging, hands on, and there is freedom in learning."
- "I've enjoyed seeing my son’s enthusiasm and growing confidence, and have been impressed that the things he has learned in his PLTW Engineering classes have not only helped him connect the dots between other classes (e.g., calculus, chemistry, physics, and AP Environmental Science) but have also had immediate applications beyond the classroom (e.g., in his general sense of how things work)."
PLTW’s blog intends to serve as a forum for ideas and perspectives from across our network. The opinions expressed are those of each guest author.