Goshen students embrace “Project Lead the Way” learning

Imagine a classroom where students are challenged to think, ask questions and collaborate with each other to find creative solutions to real-world problems —like programming computers, engineering earthquake-resistant buildings, or designing prosthetics for independent living.

four students kneel on the classroom floor examining game cards. Bright-colore dots are on the classrom floor.
Carissa Opel’s sort through game cards to decide on the commands that will carry them through a dotted trail to the “doghouse.”

Imagine students who can see themselves using their knowledge and skills to positively impact their community and the world.

Imagine students so engaged and excited about learning that they embrace it for life.

That’s the kind of learning environment and student experience encouraged by Project Lead the Way (PLTW), now offered to all Goshen students.

A group of students stand by while another jumps through bright colored dots scattered on the classroom floor.
Third graders put their agreed-upon coding pattern to the test.

Aligned with New York State’s Next Generation Learning Standards, the program emphasizes STEM skills and applied, hands-on learning. Teachers act as coaches and facilitators to encourage inquiry and collaboration, and inspire a love of learning.

In addition to training and achieving certification over the summer months, our teachers are supported year-round by the program’s comprehensive classroom resources.

Leading the Way at Goshen Intermediate School

You wouldn’t know PLTW is brand new at Goshen Intermediate judging by students’ level of comfort and engagement with the program’s activities.

Students work at their desks while teacher points to a oage with the outline of the human body on a worksheet
After playing a message-decoding game as a group, Mrs. Pacciarelli’s fourth graders apply the experience to identify the parts of the body they used to input, process and output the messages.

At the end of their first full-week of school, third-graders in Carissa Opel’s class were well into a unit on spatial sense as it relates to coding. They sorted and ordered sets of cards with directional commands—over, under, through, around—to map out a path and create wearable code.

In the weeks ahead, they will code an interactive robotic device, use the engineering design process, and create the necessary code to locate a hidden item.

Students work at their desks while teacher interacts with one of the students and point to the smart board.
Mrs. Mecocci helps her fourth graders apply the signal travel time information collected during the message-decoding game.

Fourth graders in Michele Pacciarelli and Kelly Mecocci’s  class were fully present and having fun with a unit titled “Input/Output: Computer Systems.” Some of the activities provided an opportunity to release physical energy and compete against the timing results in other fourth grade classes, as reported by Kendra Parchinski, the instruction and technology teaching assistant who supports all PLTW activities.

Two students sit at their desks, pencil in hand, reading questions on their worksheets
Reflection and application is a major component of PLTW learning.

Through the input-output exercises students explored how computers work by making analogies between the parts of the human body and the parts that make up a computer. Sitting in a circle, they investigated reaction time as a measure of the nervous system function.

In forthcoming units, students will apply what they learned to build their own reaction-time measurement devices on tablets.

Learn more about Project Lead the Way.