Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
There is a great deal of discussion about STEM education in schools today. STEM refers to an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math.
One responsibility of school districts is to prepare students for selecting career choices that they have an interest in and ones that companies have a need for.
Recent estimates from the U.S. Department of Commerce indicates that STEM jobs will grow 17 percent by 2018, which is nearly double the growth for non-STEM fields. By the year 2018 the United States is expected to have more than 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs because there will not be enough qualified individuals to fill the need. STEM workers use their knowledge to solve problems while addressing the future needs of the world.
Our ongoing mission at Perry Township Schools is to search for better and more innovative ways to teach your children and prepare them for STEM careers. One model that we believe has a great deal of promise is called Project Lead the Way.
PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM programs. Its world-class curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate and community partners, help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in our global economy.
PLTW’s success in preparing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed has been recognized by universities, Fortune 500 businesses and numerous national organizations including Change the Equation and the Social Impact Exchange.
Project Lead the Way curriculum provides students with an opportunity to apply what they know to identify a problem and find unique solutions that lead to expanding their learning skills. Solving problems through an activity-based project approach prepares students to solve real-world problems. This approach creates practical applications for student learning and provides the rigor and relevance that engages and empowers our students.
PLTW courses are aligned with state standards in math and English language arts, Next Generation Science Standards and other norms. Among other significant findings, independent studies reveal that PLTW students outperform their peers in school, are better prepared for post-secondary studies and are more likely to consider careers as scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians, healthcare providers and researchers.
At the end of the day, any education model we seek to use is designed to help our children understand the world and how to choose a career that will help them live happy and productive lives. Options and opportunities are available for our students.