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Georgia Southern’s Department of Mechanical Engineering Conducts PLTW Training

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Georgia Southern graduate assistant, Garrett Howze, gives a tour to Introduction to Engineering Design participents at Formula Car Fabrication Shop during PLTW at Georgia Southern.

More than 100 elementary and secondary school teachers from around the country participated in a four-week training session as part of Project Lead The Way (PLTW) summer core training, conducted by Georgia Southern’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The four-week training session for teachers began June 6 in Atlanta and ended July 1 in Statesboro. There were eight different training classes with varying durations depending on the grade levels. The curriculum is based on the PLTW, which is a national, non-profit organization promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in K-12 classrooms through teacher training and course module development.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s initiative in supporting PLTW provides a major boost in elementary and secondary school teachers from rural counties throughout Georgia participate in the training. While most of the participants hail from Georgia, some came to this year’s training from neighboring states and even further afield, including Texas, Indiana, New Jersey, Wyoming, Nevada and California.  

Georgia’s PLTW director, Aniruddha Mitra, Ph.D., PE,  professor of mechanical engineering at the University, thanked the Georgia Southern community for their support in organizing and hosting the event.

“Project Lead The Way training classes conducted by Georgia Southern have experienced unprecedented growth over the past four years in terms of number of attendees – from fewer than ten, to 70 last year, to over 100 this year. This will significantly enhance STEM education, and Georgia Southern’s impact, throughout the region. I hope that as a result of these PLTW programs, many more students will consider careers in STEM fields, and will decide to launch those careers with degrees from Georgia Southern,” said Mitra.

PLTW partners with institutions of higher education in each state — these affiliate colleges and universities train the teachers who will implement the course materials and modules in their elementary and secondary classes, introducing pre-college students to concepts of engineering and other STEM fields

Currently, about 8,500 schools representing all 50 states have adopted PLTW programs and modules. Alongside Georgia Southern, there are 60 other affiliate members across the nation.

Visitors to the classes included administrators from the participants’ schools, PLTW officials and  representative from regional industry.

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