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Project Lead The Way Named to Elite List of STEM Organizations

Oct 11, 2013
Oregon Tech is proud to be part of an organization nationally recognized as one of just four high-quality STEM programs that are immediately scalable on a national level.

Oct. 11, 2013, Klamath Falls, ORE. – A dedicated member of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), Oregon Tech is proud to be part of an organization nationally recognized as one of just four high-quality STEM programs that are immediately scalable on a national level. Of the four programs selected, PLTW is the only in-school STEM curricular program for elementary, middle, and high school students and the only program offering a comprehensive professional development model for teachers.

Change the Equation (CTEq) – a nonprofit, nonpartisan, CEO-led initiative that is mobilizing the business community to improve K-12 STEM learning in the United States – made the announcement via a press release Thursday. Through this new recognition, CTEq is signaling to the business community that PLTW is worthy of support as companies look to make smart investments in organizations that are proven to impact students.

Selection to the elite list of programs was based on an application process, followed by a rigorous vetting process. CTEq invited all programs in its existing STEMworks database to voluntarily submit additional evidence of their ability to scale nationally. The nonprofit education research and evaluation firm WestEd then evaluated the organizations for their quality and scalability. PLTW is currently in over 5,200 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

As the only university in Oregon certified to provide training, Oregon Tech collaborates with PLTW to provide and coordinate a yearly program that provides teachers with a professional development certificate and continuing support. Each year, Oregon Tech invites middle and high school teachers to spend two weeks at the Oregon Tech campus to expand their knowledge of Engineering Design and Development and Automation and Robotics as part of PLTW. The self-sustaining Summer Training Institute is overseen by Oregon Tech professors and prepares instructors to teach the specific courses they will be offering in the fall. PLTW provides curriculum, software, and equipment that are used to teach and engage high school and middle school students in areas like product design, robotics, computers, and engineering.

Dr. David Culler, director of the PLTW programs at Oregon Tech states, “Many communities around Oregon are trying to strengthen their economic base by creating an educational infrastructure and a technology savvy population that will attract new companies and fill jobs that are currently available. As 1 of only 50 PLTW Affiliate Universities in the country, Oregon Tech plays a critical role in the implementation and growth of PLTW by training the teachers, holding annual counselor conferences and working with the network of schools to give ongoing support and opportunities such as scholarships and college credit to students once they have graduated. Oregon Tech receives high marks from both teachers that complete their professional development in Klamath Falls and from the PLTW national offices.”

Since the inception of PLTW at Oregon Tech in 2006, we have trained 287 teachers from all over the US.  They have come from as far away as Alaska and New York but a big percentage come from neighboring states including Idaho, Washington, and California. This has amounted to eight certified high schools in Oregon where students can receive advanced college credit through Oregon Tech for PLTW courses. The next training institute will be held July 7-19, 2014. For more information, contact Barbara Metcalf at 541-885-1494 or Barbara.Metcalf@oit.edu.

About Oregon Tech

Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is one of seven universities in the Oregon University System, and the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.

About Project Lead The Way

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the nation’s leading provider of STEM programs. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, helps students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 5,200 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.

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