Asheville High, SILSA to offer special STEM courses

Here’s the press release from Asheville City Schools:

Asheville High School and the School of Inquiry and Life Sciences at Asheville (SILSA) Adopt Project Lead The Way (PLTW) STEM Education Program

Asheville High School and SILSA have recently adopted the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program and will begin offering special courses in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of STEM curricula to middle and high schools with more than 5,200 programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including 25 Biomedical Sciences programs in North Carolina.

Asheville High School/SILSA will offer PLTW’s Biomedical Sciences program, a high school program that introduces students to medicine and human body systems, preparing them for careers in medical and health-related fields. Students will explore the concepts of human medicine and be introduced to topics like physiology, genetics, microbiology and public health. Hands-on activities will include dissecting a heart, examining the processes, structures and interactions of the human body, as they ‘play’ the role of biomedical professionals. They will also explore the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, working collaboratively to investigate and design innovative solutions to the health challenges of the 21st Century. In the process, the AHS/SILSA students will be introduced to a range of biomedical careers, inspiring and preparing them for post-secondary success.

“PLTW has a long history of successfully engaging students in STEM subjects,” said SILSA principal, Greg Townsend. “Asheville High School and SILSA are proud to offer PLTW to our students, giving them an advantage over their peers when it comes to high school, college and career readiness. We believe our community will also see the benefits of PLTW as the pool of highly-skilled workers for local businesses….especially our thriving healthcare industry….increases.”

In addition to providing world-class STEM curricula to middle and high schools, PLTW provides ongoing, high-quality professional development training for teachers so they can effectively implement – and teach – the engaging hands-on, project-based curriculum. PLTW schools also benefit from the organization’s engaged network of Fortune 500 companies, state leaders, and university affiliations, which provide students opportunities for college credit, scholarships and admissions preferences. A school-based PLTW Partnership Teams will be recruiting local business and industry professionals to serve as mentors and share their real-world experiences with students.

“In today’s global economy, Americans are competing not just against each other but against their peers in countries like China and India,” said Vince Bertram, CEO of PLTW. “It is more critical now than ever for our education system to help students develop the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to prepare them for the global economy.”

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education curricular programs used in schools. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, PLTW exists to prepare students for the global economy through its world-class curriculum, high-quality professional development, and an engaged network of educators, students, universities and professionals. PLTW’s comprehensive curriculum has been collaboratively designed by PLTW teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators to promote critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving skills in students. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success. More than 4,700 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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