County elementary schools adopt new STEM program

COUNTY — This school year, seven Pickens County Elementary schools will begin offering hands-on, project-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum to students in grades K-5 as part of its implementation of the Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) elementary school program PLTW launch.

Clemson Elementary, Croswell Elementary, East End Elementary, Forest Acres Elementary, Holly Springs Elementary, Pickens Elementary and West End Elementary are joining more than 6,500 schools across the U.S. in offering PLTW programs to their students.

Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. Engaging them at a young age builds confidence, grows interest, and puts them on course for strong accomplishments in middle school, high school, and beyond. Through PLTW Launch, students become problem solvers. They engage in design problems that encourage collaboration and use touch technology, robotics, and everyday materials to explore topics such as energy, light, and sound, motion and stability, and gravity. PLTW Launch inspires in students a passion for STEM subjects, encouraging them to continue their learning in middle school, high school, and beyond.

“PLTW has a long history of successfully engaging students in STEM subjects,” said Dr. Brian Richard, coordinator of career and technology education for the School District of Pickens County. “We are excited to offer PLTW Launch to our students, giving them a chance to get excited about math, science, and STEM concepts and pursue these subjects as they continue their educational careers”

PLTW programs have been expanding in SDPC’s middle schools for several years, so the next step for students participating in PLTW at elementary schools is already in place.

“Project Lead The Way is proud to partner with the School District of Pickens County to excite and engage students in math and science from the earliest ages,” PLTW president and CEO Dr. Vince Bertram said. “Together, we’re helping students make connections, understand how the world works, and develop a strong foundation that will prepare them for success in their education, and ultimately, their careers.”

In addition to providing world-class K-12 STEM programs, PLTW provides high-quality professional development training that equips teachers with the content, skills, and pedagogy required to teach each PLTW course. PLTW schools also benefit from the organization’s engaged network of Fortune 500 companies, educators, and partners. School-based PLTW Partnership Teams complement the curriculum by recruiting local business and industry professionals to serve as mentors and share their real-world experiences with students.