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Vol. 45, No. 107
Nov. 29, 2011

 

Blue Springs Freshman Center Receives National Award for Excellence in STEM Education

The Blue Springs Freshman Center has received national recognition for its Project Lead The Way biomedical program, state education officials announced today. 

Project Lead The Way recently released its list of 2010-11 Model Schools, the most coveted award the organization hands out annually.  The Blue Springs Freshman Center is one of just 16 schools to receive the award this year out of the 4,200 eligible schools across the country.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality, engaging education programs for middle and high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

 “The Blue Springs Freshman Center is to be commended for its leadership in science and biomedical education,” said Sharon Hoge, assistant commissioner with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  “This program is providing its students with excellent hands-on learning experiences that will inspire and unlock their potential as they explore and develop skills in bioscience-related fields.”

Model schools were selected based on their strength in several key categories, including a robust program implementation, excellent postsecondary relationships, outstanding communications and outreach, solid professional development and a strong level of student engagement.  Schools with the greatest overall scores were selected as Model Schools.

The Blue Springs School District, a district of 14,300 students located about 20 miles east of Kansas City, was among the first in Missouri to have certified PLTW biomedical programs.  Statewide, participation in PLTW biomedical programs has nearly doubled over the past two years — from 14 schools in the 2009-10 school year to 27 schools this year.

The Blue Springs Freshman Center began its biomedical sciences program in 2008, and enrollment in the program has increased from 111 students last year to 154 this year.  Through such courses as principles of biomedical sciences, students are introduced to fields such as physiology, genetics, microbiology and public health.

Originally known for its pre-engineering curriculum, Project Lead The Way has been growing in Missouri since 2002.  This year, 148 Missouri schools are offering PLTW programs in pre-engineering, technology and biomedical fields.