Morningside to pilot elementary engineering program

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Project Lead the Way accepts EIS application

By Kelly Cantrall

Morningside Elementary School is one of just a few dozen schools in the country working with a new elementary engineering program.

Morningside will pilot the elementary curriculum in the Project Lead the Way engineering program this school year. The school was selected as one of 44 in the nation to pilot the curriculum. T.K. Stone Middle School and Elizabethtown High School have PLTW programs.

The district applied in May and learned a few weeks later Morningside was chosen.

Susan Ryan, who helps to coordinate the program in the district, said she knew immediately that she wanted to pilot the program locally.

“I just can’t speak enough about the quality of the curriculum,” she said.

She’s seen success at middle and high schools, where students, who struggle in other areas, excel at the engineering courses. Students can be gifted in many ways, she said.

“I think the program reveals that,” she said.

Elementary students will work with robotics and use a lot of problem-solving strategies in the curriculum. Ryan thinks an early start with the curriculum will have a lasting impact.

“I think in the past we haven’t thought about that building a workforce starts in elementary school, and I think it does,” she said.

The curriculum also is similar to the Next Generation Science standards that could be implemented across the state soon. Ryan said she felt spreading the program across the district would help it get a jumpstart on implementing the new standards.

The Elizabethtown Independent Schools board approved giving $5,800 to Morningside to be used for equipment for the program. 

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.