Somerset High school adding fourth Project Lead The Way classProject Lead The Way continues to grow in the Somerset schools. Next year a fourth PLTW class will be offered at Somerset High School.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Project Lead The Way continues to grow in the Somerset schools.
Next year a fourth PLTW class will be offered at Somerset High School. The course, biotechnical engineering, will be the most advanced of the PLTW offerings, with recommended prerequisite classes of algebra 2, biology and chemistry.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Trish Sheridan said there has been strong interest in the PLTW classes among high school students. The registration process for next year is just beginning at the high school and 16 spots in the biotechnical engineering class have already been taken, according to Sheridan. She said she expects all of the PLTW classes to be filled to capacity next year.
The first of the PLTW courses is introduction to engineering design. Twenty-nine students just completed that section, leading Sheridan to expect that the principles of engineering course will be filled next year. The third PLTW course is digital electronics.
Project Lead The Way is designed to help students become stronger in STEM courses. STEM equates to Science, Technology, English and Math. Somerset has three teachers leading the high school classes, with Eric Olson teaching the technology courses, Richard Thompson the math course and Erin Wilson set to teach the science course that starts next year.
To help make the PLTW courses fit better into the curriculum, SHS administration has petitioned to have the principles of engineering course count as a science credit. Beginning next year, POE will qualify as a science course for SHS graduation requirements.
Community partnerships and grants are a major part of the PLTW success. Area businesses have recognized the importance of PLTW in training possible future employees. Several businesses have provided grants to help with the costs of the PLTW courses. Somerset recently received a $10,000 grant from the Andersen Corp. Foundation.
3M supplied a grant last year that was used for a new robotics system for the PLTW classes at the high school. The older system was transferred to the middle school, where students are getting an introduction to engineering. Damon Barta is concentrating one quarter of the seventh grade science year toward engineering. Olson is also introducing students to engineering in the middle school tech education classes.
Last year the school district received a $5,000 grant from the Kern Foundation. That will go toward Wilson’s training this summer for the biotechnical engineering course. She will spend two weeks this summer at Milwaukee School of Engineering to begin training for the course.