Project Lead the Way certifies Chaney STEM

Staff report


Chaney Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics recently accepted a banner proclaiming its national certification from Project Lead the Way.

PLTW is a pre-engineering track of study. To achieve national certification, a school must adhere to strict requirements, including teaching the PLTW curriculum, administering the exams, working with local business and industry, offering all of the basic courses and providing students a clear pathway into post-secondary education.

“We are thrilled to have received national certification from PLTW in only our second year of operation,” said Pam Lubich, STEM Coordinator, “and this is due to the hard work and dedication of our staff.”

Having achieved certified status, Chaney STEM pre-engineering students may use Project Lead the Way high-school credits at several national PLTW affiliate colleges and universities such as Purdue, Penn State and Rochester Institute of Technology and many Ohio colleges and universities.

PLTW Executive Council member Dave Dickinson, professor of welding engineering at Ohio State University, is impressed with the PLTW pre-engineering program across the state.

“These ninth- and 10th-graders are every bit as mature and bright as most of the college freshmen I see,” said Dickinson. “I’d be happy to see any or all of them come to OSU.”

The PLTW program has been adopted by 202 high schools, career centers and middle schools all over the state.

Kathy Sommers, Project Lead the Way’s state leader for Ohio at the Ohio Department of Education, sees the program as the best answer to Ohio’s workforce and employment issues.

“With 100 percent of the baby- boomer population due to retire over the next 10 to 15 years, we are going to need all the engineers and trained biomedical people we can get,” Sommers said. “Project Lead the Way can help to fill that gap — we see almost unlimited potential for growth in our state.”

Austintown also recently announced a partnership with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center an Project Lead the Way to offer a seventh- and eighth- grade STEM program next year.

Students will acquire knowledge and skills in problem solving, teamwork and innovation and explore STEM careers in the all-day program.

The rigorous academic curriculum will be taught in a self-contained, student centered classroom through Project-Based Learning.

Both the seventh- and eighth-grade STEM class is limited to 25 students each. Students and parents must apply and interview to be considered.

There is a three-part application process: part one, an online application form; part two, teacher recommendation form; and part three, the pre-interview questionnaire.

All parts must be completed and submitted for consideration and an interview. The application deadline is May 17 or until all seats are filled.

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