Originally Published by Toyota Motor North America.
Toyota USA Foundation, together with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), will introduce a program this fall to help students at 12 North Texas schools start a path to thriving careers.
As part of a national effort to inspire and prepare students for next-generation jobs, grants totaling $220,000 were awarded to create access to PLTW’s hands-on learning experiences. The program empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects and problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them.
“With 2.4 million STEM-related careers expected to go unfilled nationwide this year, Toyota and Project Lead The Way know the critical effect this gap has on many industries and businesses across the country and in growing communities like North Texas,” said Michael Medalla, Toyota USA Foundation manager. “Our goal is to create a pathway that will prepare students for these high-demand jobs through project-based learning programs. Fun, interactive learning nurtures the curiosity for future high-demand careers in STEM fields.”
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are one of the fastest-growing occupation clusters in the South, with projected employment of 2.6 million workers by 2020. In a recent study, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio ranked fifth, 40th, and 52nd respectively for best cities for STEM jobs. In the same report, Dallas ranked fifth for the highest annual median wage for STEM workers, and San Antonio ranked fourth for the highest annual media wage growth for STEM workers.
“Our world is rapidly evolving, and that has serious implications for our students,” said PLTW president and CEO Vince Bertram. “We are excited to continue partnering with Toyota to develop the future workforce by empowering students with the transportable knowledge and skills to thrive in their careers. Thank you to Toyota for investing in our students.”
PLTW’s programs introduce students to computer science, engineering and biomedical science principles and help them develop skills as they solve problems relevant to the real world. PLTW programs also include professional development training that provides teachers with the support and resources they need to devote more time to inspiring students. Through PLTW Professional Development, teachers gain the content knowledge and pedagogy to lead their students through PLTW’s activity-, project- and problem-based curriculum.
North Texas schools receiving grants from the Toyota USA Foundation and PLTW include:
- Anna ISD
- Anna High School
- Anna Middle School
- Harlow Elementary
- Joe K Bryant Elementary
- Sue E. Rattan Elementary
- Carroll ISD
- Carroll High School
- Denton ISD
- Providence Elementary
- Duncanville ISD
- G. W. Kennemer Middle School
- Frisco ISD
- Vandeventer Middle School
- Private and Charter schools
- Legacy Preparatory Charter Academy, Plano campus
- Legacy Preparatory Charter Academy, Mesquite West campus
- Lake Country Christian School, Fort Worth campus
Schools will use funds from the grant to expand or start PLTW and help cover annual program fees, teacher professional development and required classroom equipment and materials. For more information about the program and selection process, visit www.pltw.org/.