The Meridian Technology Center STEM Academy was named a Distinguished School by Project Lead the Way (PLTW) for its Biomedical Sciences and Pre-Engineering programs.
PLTW is a national program that provides transformative learning experiences for students and teachers across the country. It focuses on developing problem-solving skills by immersing students in real-world preparatory-level academics. The Distinguished School award recognizes schools that are committed to increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW programs.
“Receiving this recognition is a testament to the quality of our students and instructors,” said Linda Thompson, Director of Instruction for the STEM Academy. “It represents their commitment to recruiting students to our STEM programs and challenging them to find solutions to make the world a better place.”
STEM Academy students score above the state and national average on AP tests and ACT scores. Pre-Engineering graduates have an average ACT score of 29, outranking the state average of 19 and the national average of 21. Last year, 93 percent of Pre-Engineering program graduates pursued a college degree in engineering. Currently, 100 percent of Biomedical Sciences students are enrolled in college.
The STEM Academy at Meridian is dedicated to teaching students science, technology, engineering and mathematics principles using PLTW curriculum. Students in the STEM Academy are exposed to a diverse curriculum with a strong math and science foundation to better equip them for success in an engineering- or science-related major at the university level. Coursework focuses on developing in-demand, transportable skills such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication. There are 137 students currently enrolled in the STEM Academy. Students may enroll as a sophomore, junior or senior.
Meridian was one of eight schools in Oklahoma to receive the Distinguished School honor. To be eligible schools need to offer at least three PLTW courses, have more than a third of students enrolled in multiple PLTW courses, and have 70 percent of students earn a proficient or higher on end-of-year assessments.
Meridian’s Pre-Engineering program began using PLTW curriculum in 2009. The program provides an overview of aerospace engineering, civil engineering and architecture, computer integrated manufacturing, computer science principals, digital electronics, environmental sustainability, and engineering design and development.
Courses engage students in interdisciplinary activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, or exploring algae as a biofuel source. These activities not only build knowledge and skills in engineering but also empower students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration and perseverance.
The PLTW Biomedical Sciences program was added in 2015, forming the STEM Academy. The program is a four-course sequence where students study and investigate concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health, and explore a range of careers in biomedical sciences as they learn content in the context of real-world, hands-on activities, projects and problems.
Core courses in this program include principles of biomedical science, human body systems, medical interventions and biomedical innovation.
Depending on their high school, students in the STEM may get academic credit in algebra II, trigonometry/pre-calculus, anatomy and physiology, AP calculus, AP physics, AP statics, pre-AP chemistry and AP chemistry.
For more information on career training programs available at Meridian visit meridiantech.edu/programs.
Photo: The Meridian Technology Center STEM Academy was named a Distinguished School by Project Lead the Way (PLTW) for its Biomedical Sciences and Pre-Engineering programs. Biomedical Sciences student Alexis Brazil examines cells under a microscope.