Science in the High School

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) has become an essential element of our High School Science courses. This program helps us create an engaging classroom environment unlike any other. High School PLTW  courses offered at Marburn include Environmental Sustainability, Principals of Engineering and Introduction to Engineering Design. These courses not only allow each student to develop as a person, but also give them the opportunity to problem solve, think critically and creatively, and explore real-world challenges every day in the classroom. By doing this, students are able to form real, marketable skills they will be able to take with them as they enter their next phase in life.

The application to the real-world aspect of PLTW is demonstrated well in Environmental Sustainability. Here, students work to create a sustainable, prosperous environment using biological engineering. This course is process-oriented, meaning that students first research and learn about a topic, then shift into hands-on activities, then build projects that can be applied to the real world, either by improving the environment or to facilitate the process of recovering from a natural disaster. Specifically, students have created tools to increase water quality, to better food production, and to work towards creating a sustainable fuel production industry.

Makerspaces are critical elements of our engineering courses. Makerspaces are just what they sound like; they are a space provided to allow students to brainstorm, draft, build, and rebuild as much as they need. Here, students can do the type of work, learning, and skill-building that you cannot get in a traditional classroom setting.

The main idea behind offering these classes was to expose students to a new type of learning and problem-solving. Learning with makerspaces and PLTW creates an opportunity to expand critical thinking, develop confidence, work towards a goal and gain practical and valuable skills that can be added directly to their resume. Students involved in PLTW courses are also more likely to pursue careers as scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians, and researchers, which are becoming highly demanded career fields.

Author:
Ruth Rubin
Head of High School