More than 300 elementary school, middle school and high school teachers from throughout the United States are spending part of their summer at Missouri University of Science and Technology and two other Missouri communities 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 training program,” says Benny Yates, program director for Missouri S&T’s PLTW effort. “For many of them, it’s like having a full semester of professional development in only two weeks.”
In all, 338 teachers from throughout the United States are signed up to take part in one or more of the two-week courses. “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 15 two-week PLTW courses, five one-week courses and five two-and-a-half-day courses. The training focused on classroom instruction, hands-on projects and team activities.
The courses begin June 15 and continue through Aug. 1. The majority of the courses will be held on the Missouri S&T campus, but those for elementary school teachers will be offered in Blue Springs and Columbia, Missouri.
PLTW is a national, non-profit organization that provides engineering and science instructional programs for use in elementary, middle, junior high and high school. Missouri S&T coordinates PLTW programs with more than 350 elementary and secondary education schools throughout the state.
Established in 1997 in 12 high schools in upstate New York, PLTW has grown to a network of more than 5,000 schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 10,500 teachers have been trained in PLTW methods, and more than 600,000 students are enrolled in PLTW courses.
Missouri S&T is one of 52 colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer PLTW training, and one of only 15 that provide PLTW training in biological science.