Moore Norman Technology Center welcomed Project Lead the Way President and CEO Dr. Vince Bertram yesterday to the Franklin Road Campus in Norman. Bertram addressed attendees and Pre-Engineering students and a reception followed.
Bertram spoke about creating classroom environments that are relevant to the working world. He said students often ask when they might ever use what they are learning in class, which can be uninspiring. Yet, through a commitment to PLTW programs and curriculum students become involved with projects and learning that have real meaning and relevance beyond the classroom.
Engaging students and inspiring them is a very intentional effort. Our mission at PLTW is to empower students to thrive in an evolving world.
He visited the new Pre-Engineering classrooms and the shared fabrication lab in MNTC's newly-constructed D Building.
In spring, MNTC was recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for providing transformative learning opportunities for students through its Pre-Engineering program that offers PLTW courses. It is one of just 64 high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S.
We have to nurture students' curiosity. If they ask questions of teachers and parents and we don't have the answer, we shoud find comfort in that and be ok with it. That's how new knowledge is created. That's curiosity: Why does this work, how does it work?
He said students should not only think about going to college or about the next four or five years after high school. Bertram said,
The reality is, it's not just about training for a job because the jobs will change and the skills needed for jobs will change. This is about teaching the skills that they'll use to grow like problem-solving, to think critically, to communicate and to work on teams, because if you can't work on teams in this economy, you're going to be obsolete.
MNTC has offered its Pre-Engineering program to high school juniors and seniors at its Franklin Road Campus in Norman since 2004. Today, MNTC also offers PLTW computer science and engineering courses to high school freshman and sophomores at all high schools within Moore and Norman Public Schools. During the 2018-19 school year, MNTC had 580 9th-12th grade students enrolled in the Pre-Engineering program.