Cazenovia High School Receives National Award for Excellence in STEM Education
Clifton Park, N.Y.”Project Lead The Way, the nation€™s leading provider of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curriculum, has announced its list of the 2010-11 Model Schools, the most coveted award the organization hands out annually. Cazenovia High School in Cazenovia, New York, is one of just 16 schools to receive the award this year out of the 4,200 eligible schools across the country.
Cazenovia High School is home to the PLTW Pathways To Engineering (PTE)
program, a program that opens students’ eyes to fields in engineering, design, manufacturing, electronics, and many more. PTE allows students to learn and apply the design process and discover the answers to questions like how are things made and what processes go into creating products? Students use industry-leading 3D design and explore aerodynamics, astronautics and space life sciences. Through the PTE program, Cazenovia High School provides rigorous, hands on STEM curriculum that inspires students, unlocks their potential, and prepares them for the competitive, 21st Century global marketplace.
Cazenovia High School is a small school with fewer than 800 students in
grades 8 to 12. Yet the district has not let its size stop its achievement of excellence through specialized programs,” commented PLTW Northeast Regional Director Carol Malstrom. ” The district’s commitment to high academic standards and a dedicated, highly-qualified faculty, including a Master Teacher for Computer Integrated Manufacturing, have made the PLTW Engineering Program at the school a model of excellence.€
2010-11 Model Schools were selected based on their strength in several key categories, including a robust program implementation, excellent
postsecondary relationships, outstanding communications and outreach, solid professional development and a strong level of student engagement. A group of PLTW State Leaders and Affiliate Directors from across the country then evaluated each school based on unique program attributes. Schools with the greatest overall scores were selected as Model Schools. In the case of Cazenovia High School, certain qualities set it above other applicants. Cazenovia has three retired engineers who volunteer their time to assist in the engineering courses and act as mentors to the students. It also boasts an excellent set of STEM-related graduation statistics. 46 percent of last year€™s graduating seniors chose STEM related fields in college, and 21 percent of graduates entered directly into technical and engineering related fields. Chris Hurd, PLTW instructor at Cazenovia High School, is a certified PLTW Core Training Instructor, meaning he teaches professional development courses to other teachers around the country each summer.
This year’s Model Schools come in all forms, sizes, and locations. There are
middle schools and junior high schools as well as high schools. Some high schools implement both of PLTW€™s high school curriculums, while others serve their student population with only one. Schools range in size from large to small and reside in 13 different states. Yet, they all share common characteristics: a high percentage of the overall student population engaged in PLTW courses, strong partnerships with business, industry, and post-secondary institutions that actively support the curriculum and give students added real-world experience and mentors, a robust student recruitment strategy, and a commitment to professional development.
“We are excited to recognize these schools for their exemplary work with students on a daily basis,€ said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. €œTeachers in these classes are inspiring students and unlocking their potential for success and achievement. This work does not happen in isolation. The community, business, and industry partnerships that make this work possible should be commended as well.”
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