STEAM education helps make school relevant to life, future careers

AAPS is one of the only districts in the country to offer Project Lead The Way (PLTW) programs across grades K-12

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News 

Looking at courses for next year?

AAPS is one of the only districts in the country to offer Project Lead The Way (PLTW) programs across grades K-12. PLTW is the country’s leading provider of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum. (Ann Arbor includes an emphasis on the arts, which is why we call it STEAM).

These PLTW students at Scarlett Middle School are learning how to work as a team.

PLTW transforms the way of learning, while STEAM encompasses all areas of academics, says Leslie Baugh, a PLTW teacher at Scarlett Middle School, featured in a video here:

Merri Lynn Colligan, the district’s executive director of instructional & information technology, explains why parents should consider signing up for PLTW courses.

“The PLTW Gateway curriculum engages students in STEAM foundational skills through engineering and design projects,” she says. “Students collaborate, research, and design solutions then communicate these ideas to others. In addition, the world of 3D becomes real in these classes as students learn AutoDesk Inventor.”

Tom Pachera’s Principles of Engineering (POE) students at Skyline High School take notes during a presentation.

Students should consider STEAM / PLTW  courses if they would like to explore the worlds of science, technology, engineering, applied arts, and math, said Tom Pachera, Skyline High School’s DTEP magnet lead teacher.

“If students know they want to go into medicine, all facets of Engineering, Design, or Computer Science, the High School PLTW courses will prepare them to go to work or on to a university and everywhere in between,” he said.

AAPS this year expanded its STEAM classes through PLTW at all middle and high schools and six of its elementary schools. Eventually all elementaries will implement PLTW.



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