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Oak Ridge High School earns grant to put in place one of the nation's leading STEM education curriculum

Orange County Public Schools

Project Lead the Way

Oak Ridge High School (ORHS) is the recipient of a $35,000 grant from "Project Lead The Way" (PLTW), the nation's leading provider of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum. The grant was made possible by a generous donation from Lockheed Martin. Funds from the grant will support the PLTW engineering curriculum, including the purchase of materials and equipment to be used in the hands-on, project-based classes which are a distinguishing characteristic of PLTW's curriculum.

"Project Lead the Way" is an innovative approach to education and will positively impact the students at ORHS by promoting curiosity and the love for learning. Our students excel in a collaborative learning environment and they recognize the importance of being able to think critically in order to be ready for the careers of the future, many of which have not even been thought of today. Many of our students depend on the resources of the school to provide educational experiences that are innovative and prepare them for real-world challenges. "Project Lead The Way" is a key to inspiring our students through applied learning opportunities that are rigorous and relevant to all. ORHS is proud to be a partner in PLTW and we expect great things from this new program at our school," according to ORHS principal Dr. Leigh Ann Bradshaw.

Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, Oak Ridge High School will offer PLTW's "Pathway To Engineering" (PTE) curriculum, where students immerse themselves in the concepts of engineering, learn and apply the design process, and build strong teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. Through the hands-on, project-based classroom learning, students learn how to apply the skills they've learned in math and science to real-world applications, setting them up for postsecondary and career success. In many cases, students have the opportunity to earn college credit through their PLTW courses.

The PLTW grant application process is highly competitive. To receive a grant, schools go through a rigorous application process. The requirements include showing district and community support, contractual agreements, teacher professional development, technology acquisitions, and others.

"Project Lead The Way" is committed to providing the highest-quality STEM education to prepare today's students for a global economy," said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. "We were pleased to receive so many quality grant applications, and we look forward to partnering with Oak Ridge High School to prepare our nation's next generation of innovators. Finally, we'd like to thank our generous industry partners who made this grant possible."

PLTW provides students with a proven path to college and career success in STEM fields through three comprehensive programs: Gateway to Technology for middle school students and Pathway To Engineering and Biomedical Sciences, for high school students. The hands-on, project-based classes show students what they are learning in math and science class applies to the real world. Each course emphasizes problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork - the top in-demand skills identified by business and industry leaders for success in a global economy. For more information on "Project Lead The Way", visit pltw.org.