Approximately 600 elementary, middle and high school teachers from around the U.S. are visiting Missouri University of Science and Technology to learn how to better teach engineering, computer science and biomedical science.
The teachers are involved in Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national effort to get more youth interested in and prepared to study engineering and science related fields in college. Missouri S&T is the state affiliate for PLTW and offers teacher training in several science, technology and engineering fields.
“The teachers go through a very intensive training program,” says Ben 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.”
Teachers from throughout the United States are signed up to take part in one or more of the one- and 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 22 two-week PLTW courses, six one-week courses and eight three-day courses. The training is focused on classroom instruction, hands-on projects and team activities. Missouri S&T is also offering administrator training to educate school leaders on how the training impacts their attending representatives.
The courses, which began in early June, will continue through Aug. 5. 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, Missouri; Camdenton, Missouri; Lee’s Summit, Missouri; St. Joseph, Missouri; and St. Louis.
PLTW is a national, non-profit organization that provides computer science, engineering and biomedical science instructional programs and teacher training for elementary, middle school and high school. Missouri S&T coordinates 610 PLTW programs in elementary and secondary education schools throughout the state.
In 2015-16, more than 8,000 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offered PLTW programs, and more than 2.4 million students were enrolled in PLTW programs. Since it began in 1997, more than 30,000 teachers have been trained across the United States.
Missouri S&T is one of approximately 60 colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer PLTW training. For more information about PLTW, visit pltw.org.