S&T hosts Project Lead the Way teacher training

Nora LaFata, a teacher from St. Louis, builds a model of the human body from the inside out during one of Missouri S&T's Project Lead the Way summer workshops.

Nora LaFata, a teacher from St. Louis, builds a model of the human body from the inside out during one of Missouri S&T’s Project Lead the Way summer training courses.

More than 200 middle school and high school teachers from throughout the United States are spending part of their summer at Missouri University of Science and Technology to learn how to teach engineering and biomedical science courses to their students this fall.

The teachers are involved in Project Lead the Way, a national effort to get more youth interested in studying engineering and science in college. Missouri S&T is the state affiliate for Project Lead the Way and offers PLTW training in both engineering and biomedical science.

“The teachers go through a very intensive two-week training program,” says Benny Yates, program director for Missouri S&T’s PLTW effort. “It’s like having a full semester of professional development in only two weeks.”

In all, 210 teachers from across the nation are taking part in one or more of the two-week courses at Missouri S&T. “They’re learning how to incorporate a project- and problem-based teaching approach into their PLTW courses,” says Yates.

This summer, S&T is offering 18 two-week PLTW courses. The training is focused on classroom instruction, hands-on projects and team activities.

PLTW is a national, non-profit organization that provides engineering and science instructional programs for use in elementary, middle, junior high and high school.

Established in 1997 in 12 high schools in upstate New York, PLTW has grown to a network of more than 4,700 schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 3,000 teachers are trained in PLTW methods each summer, and about 500,000 students are enrolled in PLTW courses.

Missouri S&T is one of 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer PLTW training, and one of only nine that provide PLTW training in biological science.