The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

June 28, 2013

Academy adds new programs

STAFF REPORT
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — New academic programs are coming to Schlarman Academy this fall.

Project Lead the Way Gateway to Technology will be taught to all seventh- and eighth-grade students, according to a press release.

Project Lead the Way prepares students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Through the hands-on curriculum, the program encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning and learning.

Project Lead the Way began in 1997 and has become America’s leading provider of in-school curriculum for science, technology, engineering and math, according to the release.

More than 4,700 schools in 50 states have adopted the hands-on activities, project-based comprehensive curriculum for middle and high schools.

“I just attended four-and-a-half days (80 hours) of training for the Design and Modeling module,” said Schlarman Academy teacher Monica Ribbe in the release.

“During that time, we went through the curriculum, learned the 3D software and created the type of projects the students will see next year, such as creating a playground.

“The playground was created piece by piece beginning with the 2D sketch, making each part 3D, then assembling the piece,” she said.

During the 2013-2014 school year, all seventh and eighth grade classes will be taking Design and Modeling, their first course in the Project Lead the Way middle school program, Gateway to Technology.

In the 2014-2015 school year, all Schlarman eighth-grade students will take the second course, Automation and Robotics.

They will learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine transfer and computer control systems. They will use VEX kits, robotic platforms, to design, build and program a solution to a problem. All seventh grade will take Design and Modeling during the 2014-2015 school year.

Schlarman Academy also will introduce the curriculum to high school level classes during the 2013-2014 school year. Students will engage in hands-on labs, engineering challenges, digital investigations and biotechnology designed to immerse students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by using project-based learning.