(March 8, 2012) – Students from Wauwatosa East and West High Schools and other students and teachers from across the Badger state who participate in the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program presented their innovative education projects on Thursday, March 8 in the Capitol Rotunda as part of PLTW Legislative Day. More than 70 students from 15 middle and high schools explained their class projects to members of the state Senate and Assembly. The event showed first-hand how PLTW furthers the education of thousands of Wisconsin students—while also addressing the state’s need for a workforce with greater technical proficiency.
“Dozens of legislators saw the fascinating things that Project Lead The Way students are enjoying as they blend science, technology, engineering, and math concepts,” said Rich Merkel, executive director of STEM Forward, which organized the event. “Wisconsin legislators have a history of supporting PLTW and have in the past authorized funding that has helped fuel the expansion of the program to nearly 280 schools and 38,000 students in the state.”
State Sen. Leah Vukmir visited the Wauwatosa students, asking questions and learning about the innovative science and technology curriculum being taught in the district.
A number of STEM-related programs and contests are conducted statewide, but only PLTW offers students the chance to earn college credit. The University of Wisconsin (UW) System allows students who complete certain PLTW high school classes to earn advanced standing credit at UW System schools. Additionally, program credit and/or scholarships are available through Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering and many of the UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System campuses.
According to U.S. government data, job openings requiring STEM expertise will increase 18.3 percent through 2014. Wisconsin’s fastest-growing industries and highest-demand jobs are in fields requiring a background in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. PLTW provides students with rigorous pre-engineering and biomedical science programs using the latest in high-tech computer software.
For more information, visit www.pltw.org or Wisconsin’s PLTW website, www.pltwwi.org.