OSHPLTW-ZacheryBudde-SamCarrollIn its second year of development, Osseo Senior High’s Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program has achieved national certification. PLTW is a rigorous and innovative STEM curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life activities, projects and problems. Osseo Senior High first implemented Project Lead the Way in 2012.

The national PLTW recognition program distinguishes schools for successfully demonstrating a commitment to its national standards. Additionally, certification as a PLTW school will provide Osseo’s PLTW students with the opportunity to apply for college credit or receive college-level recognition at PLTW affiliate universities when they successfully complete select PLTW courses in high school. PLTW has more than 50 college, university and research partners, including the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University-Mankato.

 “We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and excited that our students are eligible for college-level recognition, which may include college credit, scholarships and admissions preference,” said Dr. Robert Perdaems, principal of Osseo Senior High. “The PLTW program is a perfect match for students interested in engineering, math and science and gets them thinking about college and careers.”

PLTW prides itself on high-quality professional development of its teachers and an engaged network of business, community and university partners to give students the fullest experience.

“PLTW courses are great for our kids. They are structured to allow students to learn by doing and creating with their hands and minds,” said Osseo’s Lead PLTW Instructor John Licciardi. “We have had growth in our enrollment, including an impressive number of females entering our program, which is very exciting.  There has been a lot of positive feedback from the students and community about how our PLTW classes teach real-life examples.”

According to a National Business Roundtable report, in order to remain competitive in the global economy, the U.S. needs approximately 400,000 STEM college graduates each year. Currently, the U.S. is graduating only 265,000 annually. PLTW aims to increase the number of STEM graduates by providing students with the skills, foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM areas.

“Our classes are designed to show our students just how fun learning can be and the many different opportunities that are waiting for them when they graduate,” said Licciardi.

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Achieving national recognition included a self-assessment and site visit. Perdaems and a team composed of teachers, staff, students and members of the community, submitted a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of PLTW’s engineering program.

During the site visit, a PLTW trained team met with teachers, school administrators, counselors, students and members of the school’s Partnership Team. A Partnership Team is comprised of teachers, counselors, administrators, post-secondary representatives, business and industry professionals and other community members who actively support the PLTW program within a school.

“Osseo Senior High should be congratulated for demonstrating its commitment to PLTW’s quality standards,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “The real winners here, however, are Osseo Senior High’s students. Students benefit from PLTW’s innovative, project-based curriculum that encourages creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare Osseo Senior High School students for the global economy.”

Project Lead The Way programs are established in all four of our junior highs and all three comprehensive high schools (Brooklyn Junior, Maple Grove Junior, North View Junior, Osseo Junior, Maple Grove Senior, Osseo Senior and Park Center Senior). Maple Grove Senior High's program is also in the process of assessment for national certification.

-Published Dec. 10, 2014