STM Receives National Honor for Excellence in STEM for Sixth Consecutive Year

May 15, 2023: St. Thomas More High School has been named a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Distinguished High School for the sixth consecutive year.

St. Thomas More is one of just 262 high schools across the United States – and the only located in the City of Milwaukee – to receive this prestigious award in 2023. The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs.

“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.”

Serving millions of K-12 students and teachers in over 12,200 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.

“I think that PLTW is a great program that prepares students for higher learning and inspires students to pursue unique and fulfilling careers within the STEM field,” said biomedical sciences student Matthew Kleist (STM ’23), who will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison next year to study nursing. “Whether it was learning about the anatomy of the body, different lab techniques, or how to treat and identify different body ailments, I believe that I have gained a strong understanding of the medical field, which will only help me within college and later on in my career.”

The PLTW Distinguished School award 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:

  • 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;
  • Offer and have students enrolled in at least three PLTW courses;
  • Have strategies in place that support reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty, and/or gender.

“The PLTW program has helped me significantly for college, by overall challenging courses that make me think deeply about real-life situations,” said Addison Anderson (STM ’23), who will attend Butler University next year to study health sciences/pre-dentistry. “We have done many labs and projects which have taught us skills that can be applied in college and future careers.”

“We are proud to recognize St. Thomas More High School for their commitment to providing students with exceptional educational experiences while ensuring equitable access to PLTW programs,” said Dr. David Dimmett, PLTW President and CEO. “We congratulate them on this achievement and celebrate their important work empowering students with the knowledge and skills to succeed, not only in STEM subjects but also more generally in life and career.”

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