Project Lead The Way State Conference Draws Educators from New England to WPI

Program supports the teaching skills needed to help students succeed in a global economy
October 20, 2015

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Approximately 200 K-12 educators from throughout New England will attend the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) State Conference October 21 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to learn how to engage students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers through hands-on activities, projects, and problems reflective of real-world scenarios and careers. PLTW’s STEM-based programs introduce students to computer science, engineering, and biomedical science principles and help them develop problem-solving, critical- and creative-thinking, and communication and collaboration skills as they solve real-world problems and challenges. Studies show that students who participate in PLTW programs have a better understanding of math and science concepts and are more likely to pursue STEM-related majors and careers. As an affiliate partner, WPI helps provide PLTW programs in more than 8,000 schools across the United States.

"Project Lead The Way helps address the K-12 STEM needs here in Massachusetts and across the country,” said Martha Cyr, executive director of the STEM Education Center at WPI and a nationally recognized authority on K-12 educational outreach. “The emphasis on critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and real-world problem solving are the same elements at the heart of WPI's project-based curriculum.”

Each summer, WPI hosts PLTW’s required Core Training programs for teachers who will instruct PLTW courses. The university also hosts an annual conference for school administrators and counselors, and provides ongoing support to PLTW schools.

This year Vince Bertram, president and CEO of PLTW, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Massachusetts conference October 21. Bertram is a highly sought-after speaker and thought leader and has addressed national and international audiences on the issues of STEM education, workforce, and the economy. In 2014 he was appointed by the U.S. Department of State to serve as the education expert for its United States Speaker and Specialist Program. WPI provost Bruce Bursten will welcome attendees to the conference. The day-long agenda focuses on promoting PLTW to students and communities as well as attracting more women and underrepresented students to engineering and computer science.

About PLTW

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. More than 8,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit