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Plymouth Schools using Project Lead the Way, Camp Invention

March 29, 2011

Editor’s Note: Inserted in today’s newspaper, readers will find the first section of the Pilot News annual progress editions “The Journey Begins” which continues Wednesday with section two, and Thursday with section three. Inside section three, readers will get an in-depth look at what is going on inside the Plymouth Community School Corporation. Here is more on Project Lead the Way and Camp Invention.

PLYMOUTH — Under the direction of Kennedy Robinson, Industrial Technology Department of Plymouth High School, a new course included this year to the PHS offerings was “Principals of Engineering, Project Lead the Way.“
The new course was added to help students understand the field of engineering and engineering technology and its career possibilities.
Robinson said, “This program is designed to prepare students to compete globally.”
Robinson said among other parts of the program, a 3D printer allows students to design objects up to an 8x8x8 square.
Robinson said at some point, the school intends to partner with another school to design a project by only allowing students from each school to communicate through technology. Currently there are 43 students involved in the classes.
Robinson worked with the school guidance counselors to identify those students who had an interest in engineering and showed an aptitude for both math and science.
Robinson said, “This course is extremely rigorous.” Each class is limited to 24 students. According to Robinson, they will be adding one class each year for four years.
Although Robinson has been teaching for about 19 years, he has had to take more time in reviewing the curriculum and preparing the lessons that are computer based.
He said, “The kids can pick it up very easy since they have grown up with computers.”
Lincoln Junior High Principal Dan Funston — along with Industrial Technology teacher Steve Miller —has nothing but praise for the Project Lead the Way at the junior high level.
Funston said all 571 students at LJH are involved with each student taking the class for nine weeks. Miller has not only led students to creating projects with the program, but has also found a number of venues for them to present within the school and to community members.
Camp Invention
This summer, Plymouth students entering grades one thorough six will have an opportunity to explore science though Camp Invention. The program uses hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, and math to provide a learning experience.
With a staff ratio of no more than 1:8, students are divided into age appropriate groups. Among other skills, the program is designed to promote problem solving and teamwork through play.
Teachers for the Camp are come from within the Plymouth system and receive special training.
This is the second year that the Camp has been offered at Plymouth. Since its inception in 1990, nearly 1,500 schools in 49 states have taken advantage of the program.
Riverside Principal Donna Burroughs feels this type of summer activity helps to keep the minds of kids active throughout the summer.

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