A group of Washington West educators completed a three day intensive training in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) "Launch" program. Project Lead The Way provides a comprehensive approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, through a problem-based, hands-on curriculum. The schools of WWSU will be implementing this new program in the Fall.
PLTW gives students in kindergarten through high school a chance to apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning. PLTW "Launch" is the program for kindergarten through fifth grade.Through this program, students become problem solvers using structured approaches, like the engineering design process, and employ critical thinking. Students apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind, learning that it is OK to take risks and make mistakes.
The fifteen teachers who participated in this training will work throughout the year to support their colleagues in implementing these new approaches through use of the resources offered by PLTW. They spent the week immersed in sampling the hands-on materials, and grappled with some of the same problems the students will explore once school begins in the fall. PLTW offers students opportunities to learn how to design and build models through construction materials and robotics equipment, and to learn new skills like coding to design games and solve other challenges. These students will be able to take advantage of an increased array of STEM offerings similar to these early learning experiences up through their Senior year of High School at Harwood Union High School.