What better way to teach high school students than to allow them to participate more fully in their own learning and the teaching process? Project Lead The Way (PLTW) courses take the same dynamic approach, and a new classroom that offers this hands-on, engaged learning environment is now available at the Manchester Regional Education Partnership (MREP) Center.
According to Dr. Kristen Rickey, superintendent of West Delaware County Community School District and a partner with MREP, PLTW courses have great appeal for students at all levels of academic ability because the format offers relevant lessons and helps students develop critical-thinking skills, innovation and real-world problem solving skills in a collaborative classroom environment.
“Project Lead the Way classrooms offer students and teachers an activity-based, problem-based curriculum, and the materials and technology students use is industry-standard. This gives students the real-world experience they need,” Dr. Rickey said. “The two classes we offer at the high school and two offered at the MREP Center with NICC are so engaging for students because of the PTLW approach to learning and teaching.”
A strong partnership between West Delaware County Community School District, MREP, Upper Iowa University, NICC, Tech Works and the input of local government leadership and private industry is making the Project Lead the Way program a great success Dr. Rickey says.
“We really have come together as a team to discuss our community and students’ needs, and what the skilled needs of local businesses and industries are. We really couldn’t do a Project Lead the Way program, financially and personnel-wise, without our partnership with NICC. It makes it feasible for our students to take these classes,” she explained.
The Manchester center’s first PLTW class next spring, Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), will teach students to employ automation, control systems, sensing devices, computer programming and robotics to efficiently mass produce a product using a three-dimensional model. CIM is a college credit course for high school students who are participating in the engineering strand of PLTW curriculum.
The partnership between Northeast Iowa Community College and West Delaware County Community School District creates new, affordable opportunities for students to earn high school and college credit by enrolling in PLTW and other NICC college courses. From 2013-2014, 339 high school students in Delaware County enrolled in 2,379 credits through NICC, saving their families an estimated $1,234,679 in tuition.
For more information about MREP and school district partnerships, contact Deb Kintzle, center director, at 563.822.1016.
Learn more about MREP, NICC credit and non-credit course offerings and the collaboration that created the center!