Westfield High School was one of 133 high schools in the nation to recently be recognized as a Project Lead the Way Distinguished School. The recognition honors schools that increase student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs.
PLTW has been in place at Westfield since 2005. The program was established more than 20 years ago as a nonprofit to promote STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields in schools. PLTW began to increase student interest in those fields.
At WHS, the program offers classes to prepare students for a field in engineering. They take the courses all four years of high school.
“Project Lead the Way started a new distinction this past year, basically to highlight those Project Lead the Way schools that have gone above and beyond in meeting certain requirements, like increasing student access, engaging students in class and outside class,” WHS teacher Matt Putman said. “(Students) take assessments at the end of the year, and they looked at our tests scores.”
Five years ago, WHS added a biomedical pathway to its PLTW program. Westfield Middle School also offers PLTW programming.
Putman oversees the PLTW program at the high school and said the school district continues looking for ways to expand PLTW options.
“We’ve actually in the last two years started working at getting Project Lead the Way at the intermediate school,” he said. “We are implementing that slowly, and next year we will begin implementation at elementary levels. We want K-12 getting a STEM experience or Project Lead the Way experience.”
For more, visit pltw.org.