Thursday, March 17, 2016


Washington West Supervisory Union Schools Adopt Project Lead The Way
(PLTW) Program to Better Prepare Students for Future Success

Waitsfield, VT. Washington West announced today that it will begin offering Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) programs, PLTW LaunchTMPLTW Gateway, and PLTW Engineering to grades K-12 school students in beginning in the Fall of 2016. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers. Washington West joins more than 8,000 schools across the U.S. in offering PLTW programs to students.

“PLTW has a long history of successfully engaging students in STEM subjects,” said WWSU Director of Curriculum, Sheila Soule “We are excited to offer PLTW Programs to our students, giving them a chance to get excited about math, science, and STEM concepts and pursue these subjects as they continue their educational careers.” WWSU Lead teachers will begin preparing for the instructional shift over the summer.

Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. Recognizing that elementary age students already have the qualities of great makers and innovators, PLTW Launch taps into students’ exploratory nature, engages them in learning that feels like play, and encourages them to keep discovering – now and for years to come. Through PLTW Launch, WWSU students will become problem solvers. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital animations based on their own short stories, students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop a passion for and confidence in STEM subjects.

The PLTW GatewayTM program is designed for students in middle school, a time when kids are figuring out what they’re passionate about today and how that relates to who they’ll become tomorrow. Tackling pressing challenges like designing tires for a moon rover, cleaning up an oil spill, or solving a fictional crime, students learn to test their limits and question what’s possible. And by challenging themselves to rework and refine their projects, PLTW Gateway students learn that both failure and persistence are key to learning and innovation.

At the High School, PLTW Engineering is a STEM pathway that empowers students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers. The program engages students in collaborative, real-life activities like working with a client to design a home, using a flight simulator to learn basic pilot skills, or exploring algae as a biofuel source. As students work together to imagine and design solutions to local and global challenges, they test their limits and question what’s possible. And by pushing themselves to rework and refine their projects, PLTW Engineering students learn that both failure and perseverance are key to learning and innovation.

“Project Lead The Way is proud to partner with WWSU to excite and engage students in math and science from the earliest ages,” said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram. “Together, we’re helping students make connections, understand how the world works, and develop a strong foundation that will prepare them for success in their education, and ultimately, their careers.”

As a PLTW school system, WWSU is part of a community of K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. PLTW students are afforded a variety of opportunities including scholarships, preferred admission at colleges and universities, internships, industry connections, and avenues to highlight achievements.

For more information please contact Sheila Soule at Washington West Supervisory Union.

About PLTW
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. More than 8,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.