11/28/17 – The superintendent of the Beaver Dam School District is excited about new course offerings that are available at the middle school this year. Project Lead the Way is a curriculum that touts a “transformative learning experience” for Kindergarten-through-12th-grade students and teachers across the country with an emphasis on exploring real-world challenges in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Beaver Dam District Administrator Mark DiStefano says Project Lead the Way is a highly regarded program that provides schools with a rigorous curriculum that allows students the opportunity to apply the strategies they have learned in the core four STEM areas.
DiStefano says the Project Lead the Way course offerings have been added at all grade levels, allowing students to participate in hands-on, project-based activities designed to incorporate problem-solving skills, teamwork, and real-world applications. For example, at the sixth-grade level, courses such as Flight and Space, and Design and Modeling, are required for all students and include STEM skills and activities in the daily lessons. Meanwhile, students at the seventh and eighth grade level choose from several different course offerings. At the seventh-grade level, students are able to choose either the Medical Detectives course or a Green Architecture class as an elective to complement their overall class schedule. Eighth grade students are required to take two Project Lead the Way courses in the area of computer science. The computer science classes allow students to design computer applications while also working on hardware design and software development. DiStefano says the Project Lead the Way courses in Middle School will prepare students for STEM Academy in High School, which has been offered for the past seven years.