UT Tyler Office of News and Information

UT Tyler Leads in Training PLTW Teachers

November 17, 2010

Media Contact:
Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

The University of Texas at Tyler led the nation this year in training new Project Lead The Way middle and high school teachers, UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry announced.

PLTW teachers learn to teach engineering and technology courses in schools, thereby causing more students to choose engineering careers.

“I am proud of UT Tyler’s full commitment to enabling more teachers to teaching engineering concepts and encouraging their students to pursue engineering in universities,” President Mabry said.

The university had 243 participants who successfully completed training and will be qualified to teach PLTW engineering courses at their schools. UT Tyler offered two Texas Project Lead The Way Summer Training Institutes in 2010.

As an engineering affiliate, UT Tyler has an agreement with PLTW to facilitate the delivery of the PLTW Pathway To Engineering and Gateway To Technology programs. They provide and coordinate activities for professional development and graduate-level credit for teachers as well as statewide and regional support and communication.

Through its solid academic content, PLTW provides students with an excellent understanding of the work of engineers and how engineers develop solutions to problems of society, according to Dr. James Nelson, UT Tyler College of Engineering and Computer Science dean. “The College of Engineering and Computer Science has a commitment to serving the engineering education and research needs of the region and the state. Support for PLTW is an important part of commitment,” he said.

“Through PLTW, teachers in the state develop a much better understanding of engineering and can therefore better teach their students about those subjects, which then causes more students to become interested in engineering as a career option. We cannot be more excited about what PLTW has accomplished on both a statewide and a national venue,” Nelson added.

Hosted by the UT Tyler’s Ingenuity Center and East Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Center, the institute annually provides a collaborative setting where teachers are immersed in content-specific, project-based instruction that integrates science, mathematics, engineering and technology knowledge and skills.

This core training is part of a three-phase professional development program offered during the summer on university campuses nationwide.

The Project Lead the Way National Affiliate Training Center transferred to the UT Tyler Ingenuity Center in September 2005.

Funded by grants from the Texas Education Agency, the center serves approximately 2,400 Texas teachers. There are now 14,000 PLTW teachers teaching about 30,000 students annually. In Texas, there are almost 300 PLTW secondary schools, according to Dr. Michael Odell, UT Tyler Celia and Sam Roosth chair in education and professor of science education.

Project Lead The Way is a national, non-profit organization established to help schools give students the knowledge they need to excel in high-tech science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. PLTW partners with middle schools and high schools to provide a rigorous, relevant STEM education.

Texas became a Project Lead The Way affiliate partner in 2001 through the University of Houston Center for Technology Literacy.

For more information, contact the UT Tyler Ingenuity Center, 903.566.7376, or visit http://www.ingenuitycenter.com or www.pltw.org.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,400 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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 Last Published 1/7/11