The Bethalto School Board has voted to make a $46,000 addition to the curriculum in the district for the 2012-13 school year. The new program, known as Project Lead the Way, will introduce junior high students to the basics of engineering and allow students to further pursue an interest in the field at the high school level.
All 7th and 8th grade students would take introductory classes designed to introduce them to the design process and the history of engineering and robotics. Freshman and sophomores at Civic Memorial will have the option of taking an introduction to engineering and design course while juniors and seniors could choose to take a principles of engineering class. The program could also be expanded to include 6th grade students by the start of the 2013-14 school year.
Curriculum Director Jill Griffin says the initial cost is high but that the annual costs for the program could be covered through the use of grant money.
Griffin also says that the district is making the right decision because PTLW encourages the same practical problem solving skills that the new common core state standards are based on.
The district designed their program to mirror what Alton, Highland, Waterloo and Triad high schools have done in recent years.