Kingsland High School has moved into its second year of Project Lead The Way (PLTW). Several new courses were added to our PLTW menu of offerings.

In Gateway to Technology (GTT), a program designed for middle school level students, we added Magic of Electrons (ME), bringing the total course offerings to six. For our high school level students, we not only added two more engineering courses under Pathway to Engineering (PTE) program, but added our first in a sequence of courses in the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program. The two engineering courses added were Digital Electronics (DE) and Introduction to Engineering Design (IED). For Biomedical Sciences (BMS), we introduced Principles of Biomedical Sciences (PBS).

One of the greatest benefits of taking high school level PLTW courses are they can be taken for university credit. PLTW is recognized by nationally known universities such as Auburn, Duke, Purdue, Iowa, Iowa State, Mankato and St. Cloud. The only catch for offering university credit is the schools teaching the courses must go through a certification by the state and national PLTW organization. High schools planning to offer four or more PLTW courses are eligible for certification and may begin the process at the end of the second year of implementation.

The purpose behind certification is three-fold. First, certification is used to ensure the school implements a high-quality PLTW program. Keep in mind, PLTW uses a nationally developed curriculum. Courses taught in New York are identical to those taught in Minnesota. Secondly, certification is used to recognize exceptional implementations, and to share those for the benefit of all. Lastly, certification is used to provide opportunities for college level recognition to eligible students. Students are provided an opportunity to take an end-of-course exam, and if they score high enough, they are granted university credit.

Kingsland High School is going through its certification process in November. A PLTW team is coming to Kingsland on Nov. 13 and 14 to conduct a site visit. The certification team will look at each of our courses, interview/observe students and teachers and visit with our business partners and administration. If we meet the qualifications for certification, both in Pathway to Engineering (PTE) and Biomedical Sciences (BMS), students in high school courses this year will be eligible to test for college-level recognition such as college credit, scholarships and admissions preference.

Kingsland has clearly chosen a path for our students that few schools can offer. We are meeting the needs of the 21st century Learner. I invite you to learn more about Project Lead The Way by visiting the national (www.pltw.org) and the state websites (www.mnpltw.org ).