STM Receives National Honor for Excellence in STEM Education

Milwaukee, WI (March 14, 2018): St. Thomas More High School has been recognized as a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Distinguished High School for providing students with broad access to transformative, hands-on learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

St. Thomas More is one of just 133 high schools across the United States – and the only located in the city of Milwaukee – to receive this honor. Serving millions of K-12 students and teachers in over 10,500 schools, PLTW is a nonprofit organization whose project-based curriculum of biomedical science, engineering, and computer science helps students develop STEM knowledge as well as transferable skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and time management.

“Students in PLTW are challenged to solve complex problems and develop critical life skills, and the Distinguished School award is evidence of their high level of achievement and dedication,” biomedical science chair and PLTW Master teacher Darlene Langhoff explained. “Many of our past PLTW students have gone on to very rewarding careers in STEM, and these students frequently credit their PLTW classes for starting them on the road to success.”

“Every college and medical professional I have spoken with has been very impressed with my work in the biomedical science program at St. Thomas More,” junior Rebekah Arndt said. “These courses have given me valuable experience in lab situations, and I’m very confident for my future in college science courses.”

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, St. Thomas More had to meet the following criteria:

  • Offer at least three PLTW courses;
  • Have 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses; and
  • Have 70 percent of students or more earn a Proficient or higher on PLTW End-of-Course Assessments, or 10 percent of students earn the AP + PLTW Student Achievement.

“Being recognized as a PLTW Distinguished School is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our PLTW faculty,” principal Nicholas Kelly said. “They put countless hours into making a program that allows our students to have a competitive advantage in their academic and professional careers.”

“It is a great honor to recognize St. Thomas More for their commitment to students,” said Vince Bertram, president and CEO of PLTW. “They are a model for what school should look like, and they should be very proud of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

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