Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Plans to Increase Access to Professional Development Opportunities Across Indiana

PLTW will use grant funds awarded by the Indiana Commission of Higher Education (ICHE) to partner with schools, districts, and Ball State University (BSU) to empower teachers to lead the PLTW classroom experience

INDIANAPOLIS – PLTW today announced plans to increase the number of teachers trained to teach PLTW’s hands-on activity-, project-, problem-based (APB) curriculum across Indiana. ICHE recently awarded PLTW a total of $700,000 in funds to partner with schools and districts across the state to increase access to professional development opportunities as well as to partner with BSU to pilot a pre-service teacher training model.

“The role of the teacher in the learning experience is absolutely critical to student success,” said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram. “We must empower our educators to lead this kind of transformative learning and help students develop knowledge and skills to have enduring careers.”

 A portion of the grant funds will provide more than 500 Indiana in-service PreK-12 teachers the opportunity to complete PLTW Core Training, preparing them with the training and resources needed to lead students in the PLTW learning experience.

 “The programs funded by these grants will assist Project Lead The Way and others in the goal of preparing Hoosier teachers to guide Indiana’s students toward STEM skills and experience,” said Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers. “The jobs of Indiana’s future economy demand a workforce that is innovative and adaptable to changing technology.”

 PLTW will also use grant funds to partner with BSU to implement PLTW Launch Pre-Service Teacher Training Program, will introduce students pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in education to PLTW’s APB learning approach and PLTW Launch, designed for PreK-5 students.  Upon completion of the training, elementary education pre-service teachers will earn a PLTW Launch Classroom Teacher certification. PLTW serves more than 11,500 schools in all 50 states, and teachers with this certification are highly recruited. Additionally, the hands-on APB approach applies across subject areas, enriching the classroom experience for both teachers and students.   

 Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns said the partnership benefits Ball State and Muncie Community Schools students.

“This partnership with Project Lead the Way is another example of how Ball State provides a premier educational experience for our students,” he said. “It also demonstrates how our faculty, staff, and students are serving our neighbors, particularly elementary school students in the Muncie Community Schools.”

BSU will serve as a model for institutions of higher education across the nation to implement their own PLTW pre-service programs. Beginning in September, BSU Teachers College will host faculty training experiences for universities from across the country. Grant funds will support training of 52 higher education faculty from 25 institutions of higher education.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. Approximately 11,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.

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