Sheboygan Area School District was recently notified that it will be
awarded a $100,000 Kern Family Foundation Grant for PLTW (Project Lead
the Way), a program designed to increase the quality and quantity of
U.S. engineering talent.
The Kern Family
Foundation's mission includes the objectives of enhancing the lives of
others by promoting educational excellence as well as high quality,
innovative engineering talent.
The funds will
provide the necessary resources to fully implement PLTW at all three of
SASD's middle schools and at both Sheboygan North and South High
Project Lead the Way is a statewide
initiative involving government agencies in education, workforce
development and commerce, two- and four-year college and university
systems, the business sector, the philanthropic sector and middle and
high schools. First introduced in the 1997-98 school year in 12 upstate
New York high schools, PLTW now offers programs in 2,700 schools across
all 50 states.
It is focused on introducing and
preparing middle and high school students for engineering and technical
careers of the future. Particularly, PLTW provides a high rigor,
project-based curriculum meeting national science and math standards,
professional development for teachers and guidance counselors and a
comprehensive national support network. PLTW courses are accessible to
college-bound engineering students as well as students who may not have
thought of college and a career in a technical field. The courses aim
to instill problem-solving, teamwork, communication and leadership
skills in students as well as help them build the math, science and
technology skills to prepare for and succeed in tomorrow's careers.
Kern Family Foundation in Waukesha, Wis., is one source of funding for
PLTW pilot sites in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.
Established by entrepreneurial engineer and businessman Robert Kern,
and his wife, Patricia, the Kern Family Foundation serves as a catalyst
for change with a focus on productive citizenship.
keep our economy globally competitive and maintain our standard of
living, it is critical to have our students consider engineering and
technical fields as career choices," states Bob Kern. "In our research
we learned Project Lead the Way has a proven, easy-to-implement program
that provides students, parents, teachers and schools with the tools
needed to make this happen. We're happy to help schools with initial
funding and expect that other business leaders, foundations and state
resources will come forward to maintain and sustain successful PLTW
programs at schools in the future."
As part of the grant, principals are expected to attend a PLTW grant meeting on February 24 in Appleton, Wis.