Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

January 24, 2014

BHS receives grant to enhance STEM offerings


The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Batesville High School is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from Project Lead the Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program, leaders have announced.

The grant was made possible by a generous donation from Bemis Co. Funds will support the enhancement of the PLTW engineering curriculum, including the purchase of materials and equipment that will be used in the hands-on, activity-, project- and problem-based courses that are a distinguishing characteristic of PLTW’s curriculum, according to principal Andy Allen.

“The grant provides necessary funds to expand our engineering curriculum beyond normal PLTW practices to further develop work readiness skills.” Teacher Craig Hughes “creates a student-centered learning environment that enables all students to develop necessary skills to enter the engineering field.”

BHS has offered PLTW’s Pathway to Engineering (PTE) program since 2008, a program in which students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process and build strong teamwork, communication, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Throughout the PTE courses, students use the same industry-leading technology and software as the world’s top companies. In many cases, they have the opportunity to earn college credit, further setting them up for postsecondary and career success.

The PLTW grant application process is highly competitive for schools, according to Allen. To receive a grant, each school goes through a rigorous application process, which includes demonstrating that it meets specific requirements and eligibility criteria to be awarded grant funds. The requirements include district and community support, teacher professional development, technology acquisitions, a program sustainability plan and many other factors.

PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram said, “Project Lead the Way is committed to providing the highest quality STEM education to prepare today’s students for the global economy. We were pleased to receive so many quality grant applications, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Batesville High School to prepare our nation’s next generation of innovators. Finally, we’d like to thank our generous industry partners who made this grant possible.”

PLTW inspires and engages students in STEM learning through four programs, which span from kindergarten through 12th grade: PLTW Launch, designed for students in grades K-5; Gateway to Technology for middle school students; and Pathway to Engineering and Biomedical Sciences for high school students.

Persons who want more information on Project Lead the Way may visit pltw.org or contact Jennifer Cahill, PLTW senior director of media and public relations, at jcahill@pltw.org.