(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Students at Truman Middle School will have a few more options for classes next fall. Truman was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to benefit the school’s Project Lead the Way program.
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a STEM based learning initiative that has been at Truman since 2012. The PLTW program provides students with a hands-on learning, project-based curriculum in engineering and mechanical learning.
Project Lead the Way Teacher Jeffrey Campbell said the new grant will provide equipment and resources needed to add computer science to the PLTW curriculum.
“Right now my students learn engineering from a basic perspective; how to be an engineer. They’re learning some robotics and automation, but we don’t really delve into the computer science side of things,” Campbell said. “It [the grant] allows us to purchase the equipment and pay for the training so we can add two computer science courses over the course of the next two years,” Campbell said.
Campbell said the new courses will also help students develop skills needed to prepare for jobs in computer science and technology.
“Computer Science is becoming very important as a career field and a lot of students are not exposed to it early enough to realize the potential for that as an option to explore,” Campbell said. “Teaching these students about Computer Science and what options it has available is important. The younger we get them interested in it, the greater the chance the student might pursue it.”
Truman is one of 72 schools in the country to receive the grant. Campbell anticipates over 150 students at Truman will benefit from the new courses. Beginning Fall 2018, Truman Middle School will offer the PLTW Gateway Computer science courses App Development and Computer Science for Innovators.