Partnership Produces Cutting-Edge STEM Curriculum
Clifton Park, NY (October 7, 2011) – An enhanced, cutting-edge middle school and high school STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) curriculum is being rolled out in Project Lead The Way (PLTW) classrooms this fall as a result of a collaboration between PLTW and one of the world’s premier technology companies – Lockheed Martin Corporation.
PLTW is a national, nonprofit organization and is the leading provider of STEM education curriculum programs used in more than 4,200 middle and high schools nationwide. The Lockheed Martin Corporation is committed to enhancing STEM education and supporting PLTW teachers and students in the areas of STEM.
As part of its commitment to PLTW and STEM education, Lockheed Martin contributed $136,000, as well as engineering expertise, to the revision of the Flight and Space unit of the Gateway To Technology (GTT) middle school program and the Aerospace Engineering course of the Pathway To Engineering (PTE) high school program. The process took three years: one each for research, development and field testing. Moving into this school year, schools with teachers trained in PLTW’s Flight and Space unit or Aerospace Engineering course will have access to the updated curriculum.
“As the national leader in STEM education, we are proud to partner with Lockheed Martin, a world leader in advanced technologies,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “This collaboration is powerful for both our organizations, and more importantly, it helps transform the learning experience for thousands of children.”
Technology advances rapidly so the concepts that drive PLTW’s STEM curriculum have to change to ensure the high-tech curriculum remains relevant. Through the partnership of PLTW and Lockheed Martin, PLTW Core Training Instructors – who train new PLTW teachers – worked with Lockheed engineers to update PLTW course concepts.
“The opportunity to collaborate with aerospace engineering professionals from Lockheed Martin ensures the enhanced curriculum is rooted in real-world application,” said Bryce McLean, a PLTW Master Teacher for Aerospace Engineering at Coronado High School in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dianne Koval Butler, STEM Education Programs & Partnerships for Lockheed Martin Corporate Communications, was instrumental in the collaboration between PLTW and Lockheed Martin.
“Project Lead The Way’s outstanding pre-engineering program is preparing students to become this country’s next generation of leading engineers, technologists and innovators,” said Koval Butler. “We are proud to work with PLTW as a key partner of our STEM education outreach activities.”
Aerospace Engineering is one of eight STEM courses taught through PLTW’s high school PTE program, which includes Biotechnical Engineering, Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Civil Engineering and Architecture, among others. Flight and Space is one of six units offered through PLTW’s middle school STEM program along with other units such as Automation and Robotics and Energy and the Environment. PLTW courses and units are updated and revised every three to five years.
“One of the most successful components of PLTW is the real-world aspect of the curriculum that’s largely due to partnerships like the one PLTW has with Lockheed Martin,” said Sam Cox, PLTW’s Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “Connecting STEM principles to real-world problems and challenges is effective for engaging students in STEM.”
Through its innovative “Engineers in the Classroom” initiative, Lockheed Martin, the global aerospace firm, also supports PLTW students and schools by providing engineers in the classroom.