300 Middle and High School Teachers at RIT for “Summer School”
July 6, 2004
by Michael Saffran
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Three hundred middle and high school teachers from across the U.S. are at Rochester Institute of Technology this month for “summer school.”
The teachers are participating in teacher-training workshops through Project Lead the Way, hosted by RIT’s National Technology Training Center, through July 30. The teachers will complete seven courses in engineering and technology in two-week workshops that prepare them to implement Project Lead the Way curriculum in their schools this fall. Taught by “master teachers,” they’ll spend 80 hours in the classroom.
A primary goal of Project Lead the Way is to help alleviate a shortage of engineers in the U.S. by getting youngsters interested in engineering and technology studies. Nearly 700 middle and high schools in 40 states have already adopted Project Lead the Way curriculum, says Robert Desmond, director of the National Technology Training Center at RIT.
“Students gain first-hand experience in different facets of engineering and discover where their strengths lie,” Desmond says. The U.S. government predicts a shortage of 15 million engineers by 2020 due to retirements and expanding technologies, Desmond adds.
The courses taught in high schools are modeled after college-level introductory engineering courses—making students who complete Project Lead the Way courses eligible to receive college credit.
This year marks the seventh year of Project Lead the Way teacher-training workshops at RIT. Project Lead the Way was begun in a partnership between RIT and National Alliance for Pre-Engineering Programs in 1997. This summer, 16 colleges and universities in the U.S. will host teacher-training workshops.
Note: For more information, including a list of participating Rochester-area middle and high schools, visit http://www.pltw.org