Patuxent High School and Northern High School Receive Project Lead the Way Certification
Patuxent High School and Northern High school have received national certification for their Project Lead the Way (PLTW) programs that they have offered since 2012. Patuxent High received certification for its Biomedical program, and Northern High received certification for both its Engineering and Biomedical programs.
PLTW, a nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education programs, offers a rigorous world-class curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life biomedical science activities, projects and problems. PLTW also provides high-quality professional development of its teachers and an engaged network of business, community and university partners to give students the fullest experience.
The national PLTW recognition program distinguishes schools for successfully demonstrating a commitment to PLTW’s national standards. Additionally, certification as a PLTW school provides students with the opportunity to apply for college credit or receive college-level recognition at PLTW affiliate universities when they successfully complete select PLTW courses in high school. PLTW has more than 50 affiliate college, university and research partners.
In order to remain competitive in the global economy, America needs approximately 400,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) college graduates annually, according to a National Business Roundtable report. Currently, the U.S. is graduating only 265,000 annually. PLTW is providing students with the skills, foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM areas to increase the number of STEM graduates.
Michael Watson, principal of Patuxent High School said, “We’ve seen how the PLTW program draws more students into the biomedical sciences and gets them thinking about college and their careers. We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and ecstatic that our students are eligible for college-level recognition, which may include college credit, scholarships and admissions preference.”
Northern High principal Kevin Howard sees similar benefits for his students. “These programs,” he said, “provide students with real-world opportunities that will prepare them for their future endeavors in their selected fields. The teachers encourage students to explore all that the program has to offer. Students will truly be prepared for their post-secondary educational experiences.”
As part of the recognition process, the school administrations; Mr. Mark Wilding, Career and Technology Education Supervisor; and a team composed of teachers, staff, students and members of the community submitted a self-assessment of the schools’ implementation of the PLTW programs. A site visit by a PLTW trained team followed. PLTW’s team met with teachers, school administrators, counselors, students and members of the school’s Partnership Team. A PLTW school’s Partnership Team is comprised of teachers, counselors, administrators, post-secondary representatives, business and industry professionals and other community members who actively support the PLTW program within a school.
Lorraine Dunigan, PLTW teacher at Patuxent High School added, “The beauty of PLTW courses is that our kids get to experience how a concept they learned in science applies to a real-world project. In class, there are very few lectures – students are exploring the concepts of human medicine, mapping and analyzing DNA, and designing innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century. That is the kind of hands-on experience that will engage more students in fields that they might otherwise never have considered.”