Project revamps learning

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2008

CHESAPEAKE — In a global economy, the way students learn must change if they want to become productive and successful contributors to society.

That was part of the message parents of Chesapeake students heard Thursday night from local and state educators.

The meeting was an informational session designed to explain the latest step in the national Project Lead the Way curriculum that already is in many Lawrence County schools.

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Next fall, however, the Chesapeake School District will become one of 22 districts in Ohio to offer the biomedical sciences curriculum to its students as part of Project Lead the Way.

Project Lead the Way came into existence about 10 years ago with a mission to improve and increase the number of science and technology graduates in the country.

Its first approach toward that goal was to offer schools a pre-engineering curriculum where students have the chance to explore a variety of engineering fields in a hand-on project-oriented method of learning.

The same approach will be offered with the biomedical science curriculum that will introduce those students who enter the program to the scope and breadth of the biomedical field.

“It’s creating a career pathway, not just one job,” Chesapeake Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Howard said. “It’s an awesome challenge on how we educate children. Schools can’t do it alone. It’s a partnership.”

Also speaking to the parents was Kathy Sommers, State Director of Project Lead the Way Ohio, who said that educating students to perform in a global high tech economy was a way to bring and keep high paying jobs locally.

Advances in the biomedical field come from such disciplines as chemical engineering and research that expand the job market.

“We need creative students,” Sommers said. With the introduction of the biomedical field program, “your students have a jump ahead.”