DDHS Project Lead The Way program is recertified

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DELAVAN — Organizers from the Milwaukee School of Engineering recertified Delavan-Darien High School's Project Lead The Way program that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.

It is the second certification since the program began in Delavan-Darien schools in 2006. The first certification came in 2008. The certification allows DDHS to offer courses that allow students to earn college credit while still in high school.

The PLTW courses being taught at DDHS next school year include: Engineering Development and Design, Principles of Engineering, Introduction to Engineering Design, Computer Software Engineering and Digital Electronics. Each PLTW course is designed to expose students to critical thinking and hands-on learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Student interest in the PLTW courses is great enough that all courses are being offered in one school calendar year for the first time come fall, said Jerry Iserloth, a master PLTW teacher at DDHS.

“We have some outstanding PLTW practices and courses here,” Iserloth said. “The benefits of this program are huge, especially considering the types of careers and jobs that are becoming available to students. For DDHS grads to be able to get a leg up by earning college credit while still here at DDHS gives them an advantage.”

In the re-certification process, evaluators noted the following about the PLTW program at DDHS:

Administration strongly endorses and advocates for the program, which is evidence that all stakeholders understand the importance of skill development in the students' educational experience;

Aesthetically inviting, spacious and well-equipped PLTW classrooms;

Exceptional instructional technology, including the regular workstation computers and the one-to-one Chromebook initiative for all students;

Well-trained and enthusiastic teachers;

Advocacy for the program from area business and industry leaders;

The establishment of a director of careers and occupations furthers the awareness, coordination and growth of career pathways for DDHS students.

There are also PLTW “gateway” courses taught at Phoenix Middle School.

“This recertification further solidifies our efforts to bring new life into our career and technical education program offerings at DDHS,” Superintendent Robert Crist said. “Continuing to offer strong PLTW classes, restarting the Youth Apprenticeship Program, updating our facilities and working more closely with community business partners all offer great opportunities for students who are looking into careers or furthering their education after graduation.”

Gateway Technical College also awarded DDHS an $8,000 grant to support the program this coming school year.

PLTW is a nationally recognized program offered at schools throughout the United States. Not all PLTW programs are certified to allow students to earn college credit. Being certified is a tremendous advantage for DDHS students enrolled in the courses.

“PLTW courses have taught me what it is really like to be an engineer,” said DDHS senior Scott Ekman. “That glimpse into engineering careers has been enormously useful to me as I prepare to start college in the fall.”

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