A national program that is one of the leading science, technology, engineering, and math programs in the country is now teaming up with Sanford Research. This new partnership allows teachers in KELOLAND to have the tools they need to teach biomedical sciences to high school students.
Teaching the teacher, that's what the new partnership between "Project Lead The Way" and Sanford Research is all about.
"Project Lead The Way" or PLTW, is one of the nation's leading STEM programs. This curriculum gives teachers the things they need to know when teaching biomedical sciences.
It's what students from the Sioux Falls School District are learning at the Career and Technical Education Academy in Sioux Falls.
"Allison and I are very proud of the biomedical science curriculum that we can offer our students that are interested in medicine, including being doctors all the way to medical research," science instructor Stacy Nelson said.
Science instructors Nelson and Allison Huthchinson are certified PLTW instructors, but getting there wasn't easy.
"My first training started in Baltimore, Maryland at Stevenson University, they were one of the first affiliates, I've been to the University of Kentucky, the University of Carolina, and IUPUI is a local training site as well," Huthchinson said.
As for Nelson, she had to travel as far as Washington State to become certified. But now with the partnership between PLTW and Sanford Research, area teachers and schools interested in this program can stay close to home for training.
"What it means for those teachers, and for me as well, is that we no longer have to travel to the east coast or out to California to take these two week training courses. It means that Sanford Research has committed to try and make the first two classes work for them," Huthchinson said.
More and more schools in KELOLAND are interested in adding these biomedical sciences, like schools in Todd County, Mitchell, Rapid City, and others.
"Now that Sanford Research has a Project Lead The Way it will allow a clear conduit for schools in our region to acquire the training in order to conduct this curriculum in their classrooms," Peter Vitiello, Assistance Scientist said.
Not only will the partnership bring local teachers the tools they need to teach biomedical curriculums, this affiliation will bring teachers from all across the country to Sanford Research and Sioux Falls.
"It also is a conduit that people outside of this region are going to come here for the training as well and it will showcase what we have to offer to people from around the country," Vitiello said.
This partnership is teaching teachers, but above all, benefiting our students.
"My students want to become doctors and they want to become medical researchers so these kids hopefully down the pipeline will end up finding their way back to Sanford so hopefully we can just create this whole circle of education for future professionals," Nelson said.
Along with biomedical sciences, Project Lead The Way also has curriculums in engineering. For more information about Project Lead The Way, visit their website http://www.pltw.org/.