University of Nevada, Las Vegas Partners with PLTW in Support of STEM Education

INDIANAPOLIS (February 11, 2014) – The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) has joined Project Lead The Way (PLTW) as an affiliate partner to support PLTW’s middle school Gateway programs in Nevada. UNLV joins approximately 50 other colleges, universities, and research institutions providing support for PLTW and its network of over 5,000 schools in the United States.

“We are grateful for the support of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and very pleased to call them an affiliate partner,” said PLTW president and CEO Dr. Vince Bertram. “STEM education has never been more crucial for our country, and UNLV will help us prepare more students for the global economy.”

As an affiliate partner, UNLV is an integral part of the PLTW experience. Affiliate partners host PLTW professional development training programs, which are required for each course a PLTW teacher instructs. They also host annual conferences for school administrators and counselors, as well as provide ongoing support to PLTW schools. Since 2012, UNLV has supported the Clark County School District – the largest school district in Nevada and the fifth largest school district in the U.S. – with the training of its PLTW instructors at the middle school level. As an official affiliate partner, UNLV will support PLTW Gateway programs in Clark County and other Nevada school districts and work with PLTW and Nevada state leadership to expand support to the high school level as demand increases in the state.

“PLTW is providing Nevada with K-12 STEM educational programs,” said Alex Kyser, PLTW state leader and programs professional at the Nevada Department of Education. “Having the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as an affiliate partner will now provide Nevada educators local access to PLTW training and professional development. Nevada Department of Education is thrilled that a partnership between the organizations to support our students, teachers, and schools has begun.”

UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 27,000 students and 2,900 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degree programs. The university says it was eager to become an affiliate because PLTW effectively addresses the issue of STEM education and prepares more students for the post-secondary study of STEM fields.

“We are pleased and excited to be part of a program which aims to increase the number of STEM graduates through innovative and engaging hands-on K-12 science curriculum,” said Rama Venkat, interim dean of the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering. “At UNLV, our goal is not only to educate, train, and graduate future engineering employees, but also future engineering employers who will have a positive and lasting impact on the local economy.”

In addition to PLTW, UNLV shows its support of STEM education through a variety of initiatives. The university is a supporter of FIRST Robotics competitions for local students and hosts a variety of summer camp programs, including a hands-on camp on nanotechnology to encourage more high school students to study engineering; a MATHCOUNTS camp for middle school students; and the Math, Science, and Engineering Academy, a residential outreach program for academically talented minority and female high school students from Clark County and Fort Valley, Ga.

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About PLTW Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the nation’s leading provider of STEM programs. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 5,200 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.

About University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 27,000 students and 2,900 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus in dynamic Southern Nevada and is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.