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MHS project lead the way

October 31, 2012
Inside Education — Aiddy Phomvisay , Times-Republican

Did you know that 65 percent of all available jobs are in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related careers?

Did you also know that nearly 5 million job openings are left vacant in the United States because people don't have the necessary knowledge or skills?

Will our students be ready?

Our goal at Marshalltown High School is to become the school of choice. This means becoming the very best school we can be. It means we offer the most meaningful classes we can so students are college and career ready. We continue making the necessary reforms in order to achieve our goals. One of the most important tasks is to offer more classes that are rigorous and relevant in the STEM fields. Marshalltown Community School District has taken a huge step in that direction.

Currently, Miller Middle School students are engaged in exploratory, pre-engineering courses called Gateway To Technology. This program will help prepare students for programming coming to MHS. Now, MHS is developing Project Lead The Way (PLTW) programs for the next school year. We have formed a PLTW Partnership Team to guide our implementation. PLTW programs emphasize critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, innovation and real-world problem solving. The hands-on learning programs help provide them with a proven path to post-secondary training and career success in STEM-related fields.

MHS students can soon register for Introduction to Engineering and Principles of Engineering. These courses are designed to appeal to all students and help them make the critical connections between STEM principles and solving the real challenges in our communities and the world.

This is just the beginning. We hope MHS will expand upon other career pathways such as biomedical, health occupations, industrial technology, broadcasting, entertainment and design. In order to achieve our goals we must continue to partner with our business community, Marshalltown Community College, city and civic organizations. Strong community collaborations like the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance, Marshalltown Educational Partnership and PLTW Partnership Teams are examples of what we can do together as a community to help prepare our students to be work and college ready.

Will our students be ready?

I absolutely believe so. The formula for success is right before us: highly talented and motivated teachers and students, strong and relevant curriculum, supportive parents and community partners. At MHS, our project is to lead the way.


Aiddy Phomvisay is principal at Marshalltown High School.



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