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From left: Abington Heights High School principal Pamela Murray, Project Lead the Way teachers Leslie Salomon and Matt Lockwood, Abington Height School District assistant superintendent Dr. Thomas Quinn.

Abington Heights School District recently received a $10,000 grant from Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation's leading provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. The grant was made possible by a donation from the Bemis Co. Funds from the grant will support the high school's PLTW engineering program, including continued teacher professional development and the purchase of materials and equipment for the hands-on, project-based classes that are a characteristic of PLTW's curriculum.

"At a time when school district budgets are more strained than they have ever been, a business-school district-non-profit organization partnership, such as that which Abington Heights enjoys with Bemis Co. and PLTW, is extraordinarily important," said Abington Heights School District assistant superintendent Dr. Thomas Quinn. "This grant will enable us to make our pre-engineering course sequence at the high school even more robust. This sequence is part of our ongoing effort to provide our students with relevant, high-quality training for the kinds of innovative work that they will be called upon to do in their careers."

Abington Heights High School offers PLTW's Pathway to Engineering (PTE) curriculum in classes where students immerse themselves in the concepts of engineering, learn and apply the design process and build strong teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills. Through the hands-on, project-based classroom learning, students learn how to apply the skills they have learned in math and science to real-world applications, setting them up for postsecondary and career success. In many cases, students have the opportunity to earn college credit through their PLTW courses.

The PLTW grant application process is highly competitive for schools. To receive a grant, schools went through a rigorous application process, which included demonstrating that the school met specific requirements and eligibility criteria to be awarded grant funds. The requirements included district and community support, teacher professional development, technology acquisitions, a program sustainability plan and many other factors.

"Project Lead The Way is committed to providing the highest quality STEM education to prepare today's students for the global economy," said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. "We were pleased to receive so many quality grant applications and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Abington Heights School District to prepare our nation's next generation of innovators. Finally, we'd like to thank our generous industry partners who made this grant possible."