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updated: 5/16/2011 10:54 AM

Dist. 59 adopts new applied technology program

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Submitted by District 59

During its April 11 board meeting the District 59 school board adopted Gateway to Technology (GTT) materials for its junior high schools by partnering with Project Lead the Way (PLTW).

GTT is a rigorous science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education program that emphasizes innovation, critical thinking, collaboration, and real-life problem solving.

PLTW is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides grants to its partner schools. District 59 received a $60,000 grant form PLTW to help finance the GTT adoption.

GTT engages students in courses they typically would not pursue by allowing students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects.

In today's increasingly high-tech global economy, the United States needs highly skilled workers in these STEM fields to remain economically competitive and fill the jobs of the 21st century.

PLTW trains middle school and high school teachers to implement a hands-on, project-based curriculum that prepares students for academic and professional success in STEM fields.

District 59 will be rolling out three GTT classes: Design and Modeling; Automation and Robotics; and Energy and the Environment over the next three years.

Participation in these classes will provide a strong technical foundation for advanced work in high school in areas such as biomedical and aerospace engineering, engineering design, and electronics.

District 59 junior high schools will begin implementing GTT at the start of the 2011/12 school year. For more information, visit