Skyline High School has received national certification for its Project Lead The Way program that it has offered since 2010. The PLTW certification program recognizes schools for demonstrating a commitment to PLTW’s national standards and provides high school students with the opportunity to apply for college credit when they complete select PLTW courses and receive other college-level recognition at affiliate universities.
The nonprofit PLTW is a leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs. Its curriculum allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects.
“We’ve seen how the PLTW program draws more students to engineering and technology courses and gets them thinking about college and their careers,” said Skyline Principal Sulura Jackson. “We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and ecstatic that our students are eligible for college-level recognition, which may include college credit for select PLTW courses, scholarships and admissions preference.”
As part of the certification process, Jackson, and a team of teachers, staff, students, and community members submitted a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of the PLTW’s Pathway To Engineering program. A site visit by a national PLTW certification team followed.
Teachers are required to complete a two-week professional development course during the summer before teaching a PLTW course. Leading the Skyline programs are Design Technology and Environmental Planning Magnet Lead Teacher Thomas Pachera in Engineering Certification; and Health & Medicine Magnet Lead Teacher Jeffrey Bradley in Biomedical Sciences Certification.
“The beauty of PLTW courses is that our kids have the opportunity to apply math and science to real-world projects, including robotics,” explained Pachera. “Rather than sit passively by and listen to a lecture – kids are building, developing and creating. It’s the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in science, technology, engineering and math.”
PLTW has more than 40 affiliate college and university partners, including Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.