Since August, Garland Independent School District and North Garland High School have launched an engineering program called Project Lead the Way (PLTW). PLTW is the leading non-profit provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education used in middle and high schools across the U.S. With this program our students are engaged in hands on, project based learning that will prepare them for a possible career in the engineering field.

We have been fortunate to work with Celanese; without their sponsorship and guidance, it wouldn’t be where it is today. With Celanese’s help, I received training at the University of Texas, Tyler, to prepare me to teach the Project Lead the Way curriculum which is standard in every state. We also have been able to supply all of our students with their own engineering ‘kits’ and purchased other supplies required by Project Lead the Way.

The first course in the series is Introduction to Engineering design where students learn the fundamentals of engineering, different types of engineering, where it originated, and much more. We are very proud of our first round of students and the success they have brought to the program. Students who successfully complete the required courses are eligible to receive college credit. Students will also have developed a professional portfolio that can be taken with them to interviews for specific college engineering programs. Garland ISD hopes to continue the growth of PLTW by adding additional courses over the next four years.

I have had the opportunity to work/teach this first round of students and can honestly say that our students are going to shine!  It excites me to know they will soon have the opportunity to work hand in hand with Celanese employees to gain insight into the real world and a real engineer’s daily life.