FREDERICKTOWN — Fredericktown students shared their thought processes as well as their projects to local business and industrial leaders at a banquet to highlight the Project Lead the Way program.
Over 110 students, engineers, and community leaders were in attendance at the event that emphasized the STEM curriculum for both middle and high school students. Over 240 students at Fredericktown are involved in the program that includes science, technology, engineering and math.
Seventeen businesses and industries along with three colleges were on hand to see demonstrations, hear presentations, and talk first hand with students who are learning about problem solving and critical thinking skills using industry standard software as they tackle real world engineering issues in their computer lab/classroom.
Robert Moore, Fredericktown High School principal, welcomed the guests, recognized the sponsors of the event, and publicly thanked Sam Barone, executive director and other members of the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County for the $22,800 grant received by the district for the upgrade of computer hardware for the PLTW labs.
Robert Miller, lead teacher of the PLTW program, explained each of the courses offered and then introduced freshmen Zach Tumbleson and Aidan Campbell who shared some of their work in the high school class, Introduction to Engineering Design.
Sophomore Matt Russell and freshmen Drezden Young and Caleb Snyder, students in Principles of Engineering, explained how they designed a marble sorting unit. The principles they used in their design were similar to what would be used to develop equipment to sort trash at a recycling facility.
Engineering Design and Development is a capstone class for seniors Cody McGuire, Adam Rule, and Brant Bowers. Working as a team, they did extensive patent research and then designed and produced their concept of a snow shovel with a salt spreader attachment.
Representing the Fredericktown Board of Education and as an employee of Gorman Rupp, Tom Seymour discussed the school to industry connections. He stressed the need for industry involvement in schools. He shared the Gorman Rupp philosophy, “We hire the attitude and develop the aptitude.”
Steve Waers, president of the Area Development Foundation, stressed the need local industry has for skilled employees and encouraged the students to look toward jobs in engineering and management. PLTW was the brain child of the Fredericktown Community Development Foundation seven years ago when a group of business, industrial, and educational leaders met to devise a program to “keep the brain trust locally.”
Superintendent Jim Peterson closed out the meeting by thanking local business and industrial leaders for not just taking time to learn about the Fredericktown engineering program, but for sharing their insights and experiences with the students.