Pella Chronicle

Local News

February 15, 2013

Pella Community Middle School Achieves ‘Project Lead The Way’ National Recognition for Gateway To Technology Program

Pella — Pella Middle School announced today that it has received national recognition for Project Lead The Way's Gateway To Technology (GTT) program that it has been offering since 2011. Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation's leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, offers a rigorous world-class curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects. PLTW also prides itself on high-quality professional development of its teachers and an engaged network of business, community and university partners to give students the fullest experience.

A National Business Roundtable report states that to remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to graduate 400,000 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics four-year degrees annually, yet we are currently graduating only 265,000. PLTW, a non-profit organization, is providing students with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in these areas.

The primary purposes of the GTT national recognition program are to recognize schools that have successfully demonstrated a commitment to the quality national standards of the GTT program.

"Pella Middle School should be congratulated for demonstrating once again its commitment to PLTW quality standards," said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. "The real winners here, however, are Pella students. Students benefit from PLTW's innovative, project-based curriculum that encourages creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare Pella Middle School students to become the most innovative and productive in the world."

Teachers are a critical component of the success of the PLTW program. All teachers are required to complete an intensive two-week professional development course during the summer before they can teach the GTT course. Students who continue on the PLTW track in high school also benefit from the organization's strong university and industry relationships that allow students to begin working toward their college degrees and gain valuable experience through internships and local business executives who serve as mentors.

Susan Lyons added, "The beauty of PLTW courses is that our kids get to experience how a formula they learned in math applies to a real project. In class, there are no lectures - kids are building, developing and creating. That is the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in fields that they might otherwise never consider."

For more information on PLTW, you may contact Jennifer Cahill at the national office at (317) 669-0871 or jcahill@pltw.org.

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