Improving STEM education in the United States has been identified as a critical concern. The pipeline of students entering STEM fields does not meet the current demand for new scientists and engineers, only a small portion of our population is scientifically literate, and students from other countries consistently outperform US students. Additionally, the science and mathematics components of STEM are not adequately integrated with the technology and engineering components and none of the STEM components are well integrated with other conceptual areas. Furthermore, until we learn more about how understanding of STEM is developed there are not clear pathways to remediating the situation. Addressing this national need requires research and development of the best ways to present STEM concepts including re-thinking the way we integrate STEM, train teachers, develop curriculum, and assess learning.

Everyone has a vested interest in successfully educating students in K-12 STEM. Without adequate education and research on how students learn and engage in STEM, the pipeline of educated graduates going into these fields will remain woefully inadequate. STEM education is a critical issue not only nationally, but also for the state of Minnesota and our local communities. Furthermore, it is essential not only to research this subject, but also to disseminate the results of that research to other researchers and classroom teachers in an expeditious manner. Inadequate STEM education not only impacts our educational system, but also has far reaching consequences for our economy, global stature, and quality of life.

At AVHS, our pre-engineering classes use the nationally recognized Project Lead The Way curriculum. Project Lead The Way (PLTW) prepares students to be the most innovative and productive leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and to make meaningful, pioneering contributions to our world.

PLTW partners with middle schools and high schools to provide a rigorous, relevant STEM education. Through an engaging, hands-on curriculum, PLTW encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning, and a love of learning.

The PLTW middle and high school STEM education programs give students a brighter future by providing them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM-related fields.

STEM education is at the heart of today's high-tech, high-skill global economy. For America to remain economically competitive, our next generation of leaders must develop the critical-reasoning and problem-solving skills that will help make them the most productive in the world. PLTW sparks the ingenuity, creativity, and innovation within all of our students.

Christopher Lee

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Don Perkins

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James Lynch

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