FLINT TWP. — Carman- Ainsworth High School administrators announced last week that it is the recipient of a $35,000 grant from Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program. The three-year renewable grant is made possible by a generous donation from General Motors.
Funds will be used to support the implementation of the PLTW Engineering curriculum at CAHS, including the purchase of materials and equipment that will be used in the hands-on, activity, project, and problem-based courses, according to a press release.
Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, CAHS will offer the PLTW’s Engineering program in which students engage in open-ended problem-solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and build strong teamwork, communica- tion, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Throughout the Engineering courses students use the same industry-leading technology and software as the world’s top companies.
The PLTW grant application process is highly competitive for schools. To receive a grant, schools go through a rigorous application process, which includes demonstrating that the school meets specific eligibility criteria, The requirements include district and community support, teacher professional development, technology acquisitions, a program sustainability plan, and many other factors.
C-A officials lauded the efforts of administrators Dave Swierpel and Peggy Simpson in the successful grant application.
“Expanding STEM programming in difficult economic times through this grant provides our students with a great opportunity and differentiates us as a school district,” district leaders said in a public statement which also said this makes he second straight successful STEM grant earned by the district, following a FIRST Robotics grant awarded earlier this winter.
“Project Lead The Way is committed to providing the highest quality STEM education to prepare today’s students for the global economy,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “We were pleased to receive so many quality grant applications, and we look forward to partnering with Carman-Ainsworth High School to prepare our nation’s next generation of innovators.”
PLTW inspires and engages students in STEM learning through four programs which span from kindergarten through twelfth grade: PLTW Launch, designed for students in grades K-5; Gateway for middle school students; and Engineering and Biomedical Science for high school students. Each program emphasizes the integration of core math and science topics with skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. Those are the most in-demand skills identified by business and industry leaders for success in the global economy.
Approximately 5,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia currently offer PLTW courses.
There are now 122 schools offering PLTW programs in Michigan. CAHS will be about 24 additional schools in Michigan gaining access to the PLTW curriculum thanks to GM’s total grant support of $300,000 per year for the next three years.— Rhonda Sanders