Grant spurs Mazzuchelli curriculum change [Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA)]
(Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School will have a new technology curriculum starting next school year.
The school was awarded a $20,000 grant from Project Lead the Way (PLTW) to support the implementation of a PLTW engineering curriculum and to purchase materials and equipment.
PLTW is the leading provider of rigourous and innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) education programs for middle and high school students that prepares them for a high- tech, high-skill global economy.
"This is a perfect fit," said Principal Kim Hermsen.
Mazzuchelli will implement PLTW's Gateway to Technology program that is designed to engage the natural curiosity and imagination of sixth- through eighth-grade students. The program will allow students to envision, design and test their ideas with the same advance modeling software used by companies such as Lockheed Martin and Intel.
"We know that it will be very rigorous for our students," Hermsen said.
The program will replace Mazzuchelli's current technology curriculum provided once every three days. Starting the 2012-13 school year, students will participate in the new program for an entire trimester annually.
Hermsen said educators wanted to ensure the middle school had a curriculum that met the needs of the students in a world that is one- to-one computing.
Both Mazzuchelli and Wahlert Catholic High School will provide devices to students starting next school year for a one-to-one computing environment.
Once the program is fully implemented, the design and modeling unit will be given to sixth-graders, science and technology to seventh-graders, and automation and robotics to eighth-graders. In its first year, all grade levels will have design and modeling.
PLTW engages students in activities-, projects- and problem-
based learning that provides hands-on classroom experiences. Students also are exposed to STEM fields through professionals from local industries who offer mentorships and workplace experiences.
Holy Family also plans to bring PLTW to Wahlert by the 2013-2014 school year. The biomedical sciences program, which explores human medicine, bioinformatics, cell biology, genetics, disease and other biomedical topics through relevant problem-solving activities, will be offered.
PLTW launched in 1997 and its programs are used in 4,000 middle and high schools in all 50 states. Ninety-seven percent of PLTW seniors intend to pursue a four-year degree or higher, while the national average is 67 percent.
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