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Molinaroli College of Engineering and Computing

Teaching Teachers How to Encourage the Next Generation of Innovators

Project Lead the Way hosts Educator Training at UofSC

More than1.2 million U.S. jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will go unfilled by 2018 because of a lack of qualified workers to fill them. Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM programs, aims to solve this problem.

The UofSC College of Engineering and Computing is PLTW’s official partner in South Carolina. This January, PLTW will train 152 teachers from across the country to better teach science, technology, engineering and math. Some of the courses being offered include: Principles of Engineering, Introduction to Computer Science, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Engineering Design and Development, Automation and Robotics, Human Body Systems, and Environmental Sustainability.

“It’s more hands-on, there’s no teacher standing in front of the class giving a lecture, there’s more student inquiry and it’s more student driven,” said Anson High School teacher, Steffany LaBree, from Anson, N.C.

A student’s interest in STEM courses is sparked long before they apply to college, which is why PLTW aims to integrate these STEM courses into K-12 grades.

“Offering engineering classes in grade schools can give students a good base level and help them not feel so overwhelmed when they get to college.”

LaBree said the skills learned from STEM courses are valuable no matter what field a student chooses to pursue. PLTW provides opportunities to develop transferable skills in critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving, which are relevant for any career.

“Even if a student isn’t going to be an engineer, all students need critical thinking and problem solving skills,” said LaBree. 

PLTW equips teachers with the knowledge, confidence and instructional methods they need to successfully teach STEM courses.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.