Mid-America Technology Center has announced it has been recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Engineering.

It is one of just 143 high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in over 12,200 schools across the U.S.

“PLTW is providing our students with hands-on, activity-based, project-based curriculum that brings mathematics and science to life and prepares students for their future by exposing students to collaboration, communication, and teamwork skills which are so vital for success” said Karen Hemmerling, pre-engineering teacher.

“Our goal is to prepare students to be successful in college in any career major they choose, and PLTW’s approach to learning allows us to do just that. It is a learning experience unlike any other.”

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW Pre-Engineering programs. To be eligible for the designation, MATC had to meet the following criteria:

• Offer and had students enrolled in at least three PLTW courses;

• Had 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses;

• Had 95 percent of students take the End-of-Course assessments;

• Had strategies and procedures in place that support reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty, gender and can support such claims with relevant data.

“It is a great honor to recognize Mid-America Technology Center for their commitment to providing students with an excellent educational experience,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, president and CEO of PLTW.

“They should be very proud of their work to ensure students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

Through PLTW programs, students develop STEM knowledge as well as in-demand, transportable skills that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

MATC’s Pre-Engineering program focuses on the following four PLTW courses:

• Introduction to Engineering Design. Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects like designing a new toy or improving an existing product.

• Principles of Engineering. Students explore a broad range of engineering topics including mechanisms, strength of structure and materials, and automation, and then they apply what they know to take on challenges like designing a self-powered car.

• Digital Electronics. Students explore the foundations of computing by engaging in circuit design processes to create combinational logic and sequential logic (memory) as electrical engineers do in industry.

• Engineering Design and Development. Students identify a real-world challenge and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their unique solutions to a panel of engineers.

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