MEDWAY — Medway Middle School Principal Amanda Luizzi and Medway High School Principal John Murray are pleased to announce that both schools have been recognized as a 2020-21 Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Distinguished Schools.
Medway Middle School is one of 158 middle schools to be recognized as a Distinguished Gateway School and Medway High School is one of 204 high schools to be recognized as a Distinguished High School. Both are national honors that recognize the schools’ work to provide broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW programs.
Both schools had to meet a number of criteria around courses or units offered, student participation and strategies that support proportional demographic representation. Read more about the criteria here.
Three Project Lead the Way courses are offered at Medway Middle School. Sixth grade students take App Creators, which introduces them to computer science through mobile app development. In seventh grade, students learn about the design process and apply it by designing a therapeutic toy for a child who has cerebral palsy. Eighth grade students can take Automation and Robotics, in which they explore mechanical systems and computer control systems.
“Courses like App Creators and Automation and Robotics encourage creativity and collaboration among our students, introduce them to PLTW topics and concepts and allow them to see the pathways that are available to them at the high school level,” Principal Luizzi said. “Our teachers worked hard over the past year to ensure our students had access to engaging learning opportunities during the pandemic, and I am pleased to see their work honored with this recognition as a PLTW Distinguished Gateway School.”
Medway High School adopted the PLTW Engineering program by offering the Introduction to Engineering (IED) course. The high school was able to add additional PLTW courses as the program grew, including Principles of Engineering (POE), Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA) and the Capstone Project course. The PLTW Engineering pathway is complemented by many of the school’s physics classes, allowing students to make connections between both engineering designs and the concepts learned in physics.
MHS also added the Biomedical Science pathway, which consists of Principles of Biomedical Systems (PBS), Human Body Systems (HBS), Medical Interventions (MI) and a Capstone Project course. The Biomedical Science pathway is also complemented by many of the school’s biology classes. MHS students can choose either pathway or try some of both.
MHS also currently has an active Science Olympiad club and a Women in STEM club, and many of the members of both clubs are involved in at least one of the PLTW pathways. The PLTW program has also inspired the development of introductory and advanced Robotics programs at the high school as well as a robotics club.
“We are proud to offer several PLTW courses and are always pleased to see a high level of participation among our students,” Principal Murray said. “PLTW programs are immensely beneficial to our students, allowing them opportunities to engage in critical thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning in the classroom — skills that will benefit them no matter what career path they decide to pursue. We would not be able to offer these courses and clubs without the dedication and hard work of our PLTW teachers.”