Indiana Science Teachers Visit IUPUI for Project Lead the Way

Release Date: 
Jul 10 2012


PLTW 2012(INDIANPOLIS) Several Indiana biology teachers return to the classroom this week in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), the site of ongoing teacher training for the nation’s most successful STEM education program, Project Lead the Way (PLTW).

More than 40 science teachers will live and learn on the IUPUI campus during the training session offered July 9-20. The first session held in June involved a similar number of teacher/students who learned new techniques in the biomedical sciences (see link to photos below).

Through PLTW, the teachers will learn valuable skills and techniques for experiments and lessons they then can take back to their classrooms. Middle and high school students who participate in PLTW curriculum have better test and retention rates and learn critical-thinking and problem-solving skills—all at no cost for schools.

“Before the education of mathematics and science can be effective in raising the analytical skills of society, the training of teachers must change,” said Jeff Watt, associate dean of the School of Science and IUPUI’s director for PLTW. “(The program) provides the strong support system needed to make this happen through the collaboration of the educational community and society.”

PLTW 2012Following a few days of classroom learning, the teachers will begin performing experiments to help them learn more about DNA analysis, genetic solutions to cancer, nanotechnology, robotics and other advancements in medicine.

PLTW offers a rigorous and innovative training program for teachers and students across the country in three primary areas: Gateway to Technology, Pathway to Engineering and the Biomedical Sciences Program, the focus of the local session.

Since, 1997, the non-profit has served more than 400,000 students and more than 10,000 teachers in all 50 states. Students who complete the courses in high school go on to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields at nearly 10 times the average rate.

“No other program fosters the curiosity and rewards enthusiasm to learn more than PLTW,” said Bev Ransdell, who retired as a science teacher at Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis after more than 20 years. She now coordinates the local PLTW affiliate serving central Indiana high schools.

Ransdell also said the experience helps foster a support network for teachers as they seek ways to continue to implement new and exciting challenges into their science classrooms.

Photographs from the PLTW workshop in June can be found by clicking here.