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For Immediate Release
January 21, 2020

Purdue University Fort Wayne Elementary Education Majors to Receive Project Lead the Way Preservice Certification

Key Info

  • Project Lead the Way Launch
  • New way to teach STEM to Pre K–5th grades
  • Elementary ed majors get instruction and certification
  • First preservice teachers to do this in northeast Indiana
Purdue University Fort Wayne Elementary Education Majors to Receive Project Lead the Way Preservice Certification Image 1
Students work together to design and improve a flexible cast as part of the engineering design process in the Human Body module. Print-quality image
Purdue University Fort Wayne Elementary Education Majors to Receive Project Lead the Way Preservice Certification Image 2
Learning about block programming in the Scratch Jr. app Print-quality image
Purdue University Fort Wayne Elementary Education Majors to Receive Project Lead the Way Preservice Certification Image 3
Practicing unplugged programming as part of the Grids and Games module. Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Purdue University Fort Wayne students in the preservice classroom teacher training program are the first in northeast Indiana who are receiving instruction and certification in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Launch platform before they graduate.

Matthew Perkins Coppola, assistant professor of science education, and Jeff Nowak, professor of science education, led the first session of instruction for the 30 students, who are coenrolled in elementary science methods, last week. Another session will be held this week on Wednesday, January 22.

The PLTW Launch curriculum is composed of customizable 10-hour, standards-based modules in grades pre-K through 5. Each module follows a specific theme as it integrates principles of science, engineering, and computer science to provide a hands-on, project-based approach.

“This partnership positions us to better prepare our teacher candidates to teach STEM at the elementary school level,” says Perkins Coppola. “Those who are familiar with PLTW Launch testify to the impact it has had on students and teachers. They are very excited for this opportunity to learn how to include engineering, biomedical science, and computer science topics in their future classrooms.”

A grant from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education is covering the cost of the program and the instruction sessions.

Several elementary schools in northeast Indiana have already adopted the PTWL curriculum, including Southwest Allen, East Allen, East Noble, Huntington, Adams Central, Whitko, and Warsaw.

For more information on the program, contact Perkins Coppola at perkinsm@pfw.edu or 260-481-6516.

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