Hamilton High School and Templeton Middle School were recognized for excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education from Project Lead The Way (PLTW) of Wisconsin. The two schools were noted not only for their demonstrated excellence in academic areas, but also commitment to college and career readiness through a robust PLTW curriculum.
The statewide honor recognizes the schools’ leadership in workforce development, student achievement, teacher leadership, college readiness and community partnership. PLTW of Wisconsin Director Steve Salter commended Hamilton and Templeton for their achievement.
“Schools receiving the commitment award are to be commended for their work to put America back on top of the innovation challenge,” Salter said. “PLTW teachers are embracing the challenge to equip students to develop curiosity, think critically, become creative and produce innovative solution to consequential problems.”
PLTW is a national, not-for-profit educational program that provides students with rigorous science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The curriculum has been shown to dramatically improve student engagement, measurably improve student achievement and effectively improve college and career readiness.
The Hamilton School District implemented PLTW in 2006 with the introduction of the first class at Templeton Middle School. Today, 435 Templeton students are enrolled in PLTW courses and several projects are integrated into science and social studies classes, reaching another 367 students with PLTW curriculum. At the high school, 88 students are enrolled in three PLTW courses. The district took several significant steps to prepare staff members and facilities before implementing PLTW. Teachers attended intensive training to become certified to deliver the PLTW curriculum. Templeton classrooms were renovated and labs were added at both schools to support the rigorous, hands-on curriculum that the program delivers. The infrastructure of the classrooms was prepared and equipment updated to support heavy use of technology.
The Kern Family Foundation provided the district with a three-year grant totaling $42,000 to offset some start-up expenses of the program which have included staff training, curriculum revisions, remodeling, computer equipment and classroom materials. In addition, the Milwaukee Chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers Education Foundation provided the program with $3,596 to purchase injection molding and vacuum thermoform machines.