Series of Regional Meetings Result in Shared Ideas, Improved Learning

INDIANAPOLIS (November 14, 2012) – Project Lead The Way reinforced its strong commitment to continuous improvement at a series of regional meetings that brought together State Leaders and university Affiliate Directors from across the United States. Meetings in Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, and Baltimore highlighted new initiatives and enhancements set to roll out in 2013 and 2014. These meetings also gave states an opportunity to share best practices, collaborate on process improvements, and generate ideas to improve student outcomes.

“There are a lot of great ideas coming from our schools, states, and partners,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “But the single lens we’ve chosen to evaluate these ideas through is ‘what is best for students?’”

From that lens, PLTW is currently working on a series of program improvements to simplify processes, reduce costs, and enhance value. In addition, two new courses are planned; the GTT Medical Detectives unit will piloted in the spring semester and offered in the 2013-14 school year, and the PTE Computer Science and Software Engineering course will be piloted during the 2013-14 school year. Also, an elementary curriculum is currently under development. More information on all of these improvements and initiatives will be provided in the coming weeks.

“This has been an excellent session,” said B.T. Martin, PLTW state leader in South Carolina. “[It’s] given us confidence that PLTW has a great vision of where to go in the future. I really appreciate the opportunity to hear all the questions and comments. It gives us motivation to go back and continue the work.”

Others added that the regional setting was helpful for engaging in deeper discussion, especially around the work occurring regionally.

“The regional setting gives us a chance to talk in depth about local needs and to have deeper discussion with a smaller group,” said Marv Bollman, affiliate assistant director at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Wisconsin.

State Leaders and university Affiliate Directors play a vital role in the PLTW network. They share in the responsibility of helping schools that are implementing PLTW programs, as well as supporting schools with existing programs. University Affiliate Directors are instrumental in operating PLTW Core Training professional development sessions and coordinating post-secondary opportunities for students. Without these roles, PLTW would not have the breadth and strength that it does.

Project Lead The Way is uniquely positioned to meet a real need in the United States. While graduation rates are on the rise in many communities, too many students are graduating unprepared for the new, global economy and the thousands of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) jobs that continue to go unfilled.

“Our students, their communities, and our country are counting on us,” said Dr. Rex Bolinger, PLTW senior vice president and chief engagement officer. “There is no more important work for the future of our communities and our country than the work of preparing young men and women to succeed in the full range of post-secondary experiences and beyond.”