Press release from South Dearborn High School
South Dearborn High School Students Now Eligible to Receive College Credits at PLTW Affiliate Universities for Certain “Pathway to Engineering” Courses; SDHS and PLTW Continue Partnership to Engage More Students in Engineering and Technology Fields That Are Critical to the U.S. Economy
(Aurora, Ind.) - South Dearborn High School announced today that it has received national certification for the Project Lead The Way program that it has been offering since 2008. Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education offers a rigorous curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects. SDHS is currently offering three PLTW courses: Introduction to Engineering Design taught by Patricia Medlock, Principles of Engineering taught by Jim Stevenson and Digital Electronics taught by Terry Johnson. Three additional courses in the PLTW curriculum may be taken by SDHS students at the Southeastern Career Center in Versailles. These courses are Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Aerospace Engineering, and Engineering Design and Development. Students find out about the program while in the eighth grade at South Dearborn Middle School when they take the Gateway to Technology Course taught by Carrie McCune. PLTW is providing students with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in these areas.
The primary purposes of the certification program are to recognize schools that have successfully demonstrated a commitment to the quality national standards of the Pathway To Engineering program and to provide an opportunity for students to apply for college credit at PLTW affiliate Universities for selected PLTW courses. PLTW has over 35 affiliate college and university partners that offer students credit for completing certain PLTW courses in high school. South Dearborn has articulation agreements for dual credit in place with Ivy Tech in Lawrenceburg. Students can receive three dual college credits for each PLTW course taken at SDHS.
Rob Moorhead, principal of South Dearborn High School said, “The PLTW program is an innovative, exciting program here at SDHS. I have been pleased with the hard work our teachers have been putting into this program and the great support we have received from our community partners. The hands-on, problem solving nature of this program is providing great educational experiences for our students.”
Moorhead and a team composed of teachers, staff, students, and members of the community completed a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of the Pathway to Engineering™ program that culminated in a site visit by a national PLTW certification specialist. The certification team met with teachers, administration, counselors, students, community representatives and reviewed student work.
“South Dearborn High School has demonstrated its commitment to the quality standards of PLTW’s Pathway to Engineering program and the real winners are SDHS students,” said John Lock, President and CEO of PLTW. “Students are benefiting from an innovative curriculum that encourages creativity and critical thinking and on top of that, they can earn college credit for some of these courses. We congratulate the entire South Dearborn community and look forward to many more years of working together to prepare SDHS students to become the most innovative and productive in the world.”
Teachers are a critical component of the success of the PLTW program. All teachers are required to complete an intensive two week professional development course during the summer before they can teach a PLTW course. Students who enroll in PLTW courses also benefit from the organization’s strong university and industry relationships that allow students to begin working toward their college degree and gain valuable experience through internships and local business executives who serve as mentors. Three engineers are currently serving on the SDHS Partnership Team including Jerry Cleeter from American Electric Power, Bob Weissmann from Aurora Casket and Jason Potter from Stedman. Additional community members on the team include Cliff Grubbs, Dave Hizer, Troy Anderson, Barb Anderson and Dearborn County EcO15 Coordinator Mark Neff. In addition to the teachers listed above, representing the school district on the team are SDCSC Administrative Assistant Bob Rollins and SDHS Guidance Director Steve Mendell.
Funding for the PLTW program has come from the EcO15 initiative in a grant from Eli Lilly and also from the Carl D. Perkins Tech Prep Grant program. Brad Street, director of the Southeastern Career Center, has been instrumental in helping the member schools receive the Perkins funding.
ABOUT PLTW - PLTW is a national, non-profit organization that provides rigorous and innovative science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for middle schools and high schools. The PLTW comprehensive curriculum, which is collaboratively developed by PLTW teachers, University educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators, emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and real-world problem solving. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM-related fields. PLTW began in 1998 in 12 high schools in upstate New York as a program designed to address the shortage of engineering students at the college level and has grown to a network of almost 3,400 middle and high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Over 300,000 students are enrolled in PLTW courses.