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Project Lead the Way President/CEO, Senior Director of School Success Visit Rockwood Classrooms

 PLTW President/CEO Dr. David Dimmett smiles and speaks with a student in a Rockwood classroomDr. David Dimmett, president and CEO of Project Lead the Way (PLTW), and Ashley Benne, PLTW's senior director of school success for our region, paid a visit to PLTW classrooms at Crestview Middle and Lafayette High on Nov. 17.

PLTW courses provide transformative learning experiences for students and teachers through courses that cultivate an engaging, hands-on classroom environment in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

PLTW regional director Ashley Benne shows a student puzzle pieces in a Rockwood classroomRockwood offers an assortment of biomedical science and pre-engineering courses that align with PLTW standards. Nearly 1,800 Rockwood students are currently enrolled in PLTW courses – nearly 1,000 at the high school level and nearly 800 in middle school. 

All four Rockwood high schools have earned the PLTW Distinguished School designation for the past three years.

Students smile as a Rockwood educator tries to solve their puzzle in a classroomAt Crestview, Dimmett and Benne visited teacher Jason Zenser's seventh-grade Design & Modeling class. They -- along with Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Support Services Dr. Shelley Willott, Crestview Principal Dr. Gary Jansen, Rockwood 6-12 Science Coordinator Dr. Meghan Bray and Rockwood Coordinator of STEM and Digital Learning Brian Reed -- took turns trying to solve three-dimensional block puzzles that the students created.

At Lafayette, the group and principal Dr. Karen Calcaterra met with students and observed Mark McAllister's Civil Engineering and Architecture class, Jodie Fowler's Principles of Engineering and Aerospace Engineering courses and Chris Lofgren's Medical Interventions class.

Three educators listen to student PLTW project presentationsOn Monday, Nov. 21, Benne also served as a juror for student presentations in McAllister's Engineering Design and Development course. Benne, Calcaterra, Reed, Willott, Assistant Superintendent of Supervision of Schools Dr. Lisa Counts and Board of Education president Jaime Bayes and vice president Lynne Midyett listened to students present their research on a problem and ideas for a solution.

A student smiles as he presents his PLTW projectThe jurors offered feedback to the students before they started the process of fabricating fully functioning prototypes that solve the problems the students researched.

We were excited to welcome our special guests and show them part of what makes Rockwood such a special place for our students to learn and grow!