Contests Add More Excitement to Nation’s Leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Program

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Project Lead the Way Encourages Students to Apply The Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Skills They Work on in School to Competitions

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More than just a way to assess STEM skills, Engineering Alliance puts aspiring engineering students on the path to becoming leaders in the engineering field

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Project Lead The Way (PLTW) has joined together with the Technology Student Association (TSA) and SkillsUSA to encourage engineering innovation through a new program of exciting competitions and leadership activities called Engineering Alliance. PLTW middle and high school students now will be able to compete in online contests and leadership activities that will reinforce the problem-solving and critical thinking skills that PLTW students are already developing in the classroom every day.

Engineering Alliance adds a competition to each required course offered through the established Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum. “Competitions and leadership activities are an excellent complement to the hands-on, project-based curriculum that PLTW students experience every day in the classroom,” said John Lock, CEO of Project Lead The Way. "We are proud to be a part of Engineering Alliance and encourage our students to spend their time in school and after school working hard to become the next generation of innovators.”

Engineering Alliance is designed specifically for PLTW instructional programs and students. It gives students the opportunity to showcase their STEM and leadership skills through challenging -- and exciting -- competitions. “More than just a way to assess STEM skills, Engineering Alliance puts aspiring engineering students on the path to becoming leaders in the engineering field,” said Rosanne White, executive director of TSA. Communication and presentation ability, diversity, time management, goal setting, organizational skills, continuous improvement, and teamwork are all addressed through leadership activities and e-learning modules.

“We know from 42 years of experience with our own SkillsUSA Championships that competition leads to enthusiasm that motivates students. It makes technology come alive for them,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “Adding our expertise to the already successful Project Lead The Way model will give students an experience that combines fun, creativity and rewards.”

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a not-for-profit organization that partners with middle schools and high schools to prepare students to become the most innovative and productive in the world. PLTW’s rigorous and innovative STEM curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and real-world problem solving. The organization forms partnerships with public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector to expose students to areas of study that they typically do not pursue and provide them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM-related fields. PLTW began in 1998 in 12 high schools in upstate New York as a program designed to address the shortage of engineering students at the college level and has grown to a network of almost 3,500 middle and high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 300,000 students are enrolled in PLTW courses.

The Technology Student Association is open to students enrolled in or who have completed technology education courses. TSA’s membership includes over 150,000 middle and high school students in 2,000 schools spanning 48 states.

SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, instructors and industry dedicated to the preparation of America’s highly-skilled and educated work force. It has over 307,000 students and instructor members throughout the United States and over 1,100 industry partners.

For more information about Engineering Alliance, visit http://www.EngineeringAlliance.org .

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