Project Lead the Way at Grenada Middle School

SHERRY WORSHAM ( PLTW Director of School Engagement MS, AL) We have Project Lead the Way in every school in the district. The Gateway program at the middle school, that is an area where we've had tremendous growth and expansion of our program. And it's is a very important area because what we're doing at the middle school better prepares our students to make decisions about high school.

MARSHALL WHITTEMORE (GMS Principal) I am super excited about the Project Lead the Way. The engineering, as well as the medical field, are fields that are a part of the future and we need to be offering these things because that's where the jobs will be when our students get out of school. So there's a lot of critical- thinking skills that are being tapped with that, and there's also a lot of hands-on activities and a lot of real-world application. Our sixth grade students will have the opportunity to be in the Gateway Project Lead the Way science of technology class. This class explores things like cleaning up an oil spill or making ice cream or doing experiments with nanotechnology.

HANNAH FERGUSON (PLTW, Grade 6) In the applied physics, they design roller coasters, and they have to design it like in an engineering notebook like engineers would do. Beyond just the science aspect, they're doing from design, they're modeling. They're doing simulations. And whenever we were doing a roller coaster some of the kids said I want to do this when I grow up. So I thought that was, you know, really rewarding.

RYAN MELTON (PLTW, Grades 7-8) I teach the seventh and eighth grade component here at the middle school, which is a design and modeling class. And it is a different class than any of these students have ever had to take before. So these seventh and eighth graders they're getting to do things with 3D programs and 3D printers and their engineering notebooks that in the past you were in college taking a high-level engineering class before you had access to this. And the kids, they've really enjoyed it. They've stepped up and done a really great job with it.

In Medical Detectives, our students have a chance to explore forensic science. They have a crime scene where they collect DNA and different samples for which the have to then explore different medical evidence that can be determined from those samples. And we've got a robotics class where the kids are going to start from just a pile of material, and they're gonna have to design functioning robots to complete certain tasks. This is a really great program. It's pushing the kids to a whole new level. I can say through teaching the eighth grade and seventh grade this semester. These kids have really loved the idea to show their creativity and do something that they wouldn't normally have a chance to do.

Wow… it's like magic.