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Joint News Release
Battelle Energy Alliance
Idaho Falls School District #91
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2006

MEDIA CONTACTs:
(INL) Jeff Benson, 208-526-3841,
(Idaho Falls School District #91) Susan Hulse, 208-525-7504, hulssusa@d91.k12.id.us

Editor’s note: At noon, Jan. 24, Idaho Falls School District #91 and Battelle Energy Alliance officials will announce a new math and science pilot program along with $120,000 in BEA corporate funding to help implement the program. The announcement will be in the Idaho Falls School District #91 Board Room, 690 John Adams Parkway. INL and district officials will be available for questions following presentation.

Idaho National Laboratory invests $120,000 to improve area math, science and technology education.

On Jan. 24, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) will invest $120,000 in partnership with the Idaho Falls School District #91 to implement a pilot high school math, science and technology education program called Project Lead the Way (PLTW). The financial contribution will come in five payments over the next four years from Battelle Energy Alliance corporate funds. BEA is the managing and operating contractor for INL.

Starting in the fall of 2006, the Idaho Falls School District #91 will offer first-year courses of the PLTW at Skyline High School and Eagle Rock Junior High. The schools will then add the remaining courses over the next three years until the full program is in place.

PLTW’s program centers on developing better problem-solving skills by immersing students in real-world engineering problems. Each of the six challenging courses uses project-based, hands-on experience to teach students the key elements and skills of engineering and technology based careers. The training is state of the art for students. They will be developing skills and knowledge in technology that they will use later in jobs that don’t even exist yet.

With its strong partnership concept, PLTW leverages the collective knowledge and efforts of secondary schools, colleges and universities, and industry to give students rigorous, relevant reality-based knowledge to better prepare them for post secondary education.

The PLTW program curriculum includes:

  • Introduction to Engineering Design
  • Digital Electronics
  • Principles of Engineering
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Biotechnical Engineering (in development)
  • Aerospace Engineering (in development)
  • Engineering Design and Development

A critical component of PLTW is its comprehensive teacher training. The curriculum these teachers are required to teach utilizes cutting edge technology and software that require specialized training. Ongoing training supports the teachers as they implement the program, and provides for continuous improvement of their skills.

INL is interested in promoting programs that enhance math, science and technology for K-12 students. Having a high-quality program, such as PLTW, will increase opportunities for high school students in the area to gain additional insight in math, science and technology.

INL is one of the DOE’s 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the DOE’s strategic goal areas – energy, national security, science and environment.

-INL-06-07

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