Marshall County Schools is the first district in West Virginia to offer Project Lead the Way curriculum in every elementary classroom and at all grade levels through middle and high school to enhance Science Technology Engineering Math or what is commonly referred to as STEM instruction.
The Lead the Way Program has six classes they offer at Washington Lands Elementary for grades K through 5th, four classes at Moundsville Middle School for grades 6th through 8th, and three strands of 4 classes at John Marshall High School for grades 9th through 12th.
Marshall County Schools Director of Curriculum Instruction, Woody Yoder said, “The strands at the high school level would mean that we have an Engineering Strand which is where it started, we also have a Bio Medical Strand, and a Computer Science Strand. All of them are linked by an engineering cord.”
Three teachers from the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels explain how this program helps their students learn and how important it is to start this program at the elementary levels.
Washington Lands Elementary School, 5th Grade Teacher, Lori Healy said, “We’ve noticed that a lot of the students that might not necessarily do well in some aspects do really well with this.”
Moundsville Middle School, 7th Grade Teacher, Stephanie Brown said, “So if they are getting that in the elementary school it’s really going to help us to be able to take the middle lessons even further and even more in depth then what we do because they’ll already have some of that background knowledge and they’ll be familiar with the program.”
John Marshall High School, Teacher, Gavin Hartle said, “With this being now at the lower levels I’m going to have to do so much of recalibration their thought process as I am as jumping into some content, let’s jump into some problems, let’s get some bigger projects here and see what we can do with it.”
Students who are learning this curriculum are already excited and say their new lessons aren’t just educational, but they’re also fun.
Washington Lands Elementary School, 5th Grade Student, Brody Hill said, “I think it is very cool because I love technology. You’re more involved in Project Lead the Way then you would be sitting down and doing tests.”
Moundsville Middle School, 8th Grade Student, Sybil Willis said, “With these classes I’ve learned a lot of problem solving that I know I’m going to use later in life.”
John Marshall High School Senior, Lydia Knutsen said, “I really wasn’t sure coming into high school what I wanted to be in life but by taking these classes I’m really sure I want to be an engineer.”
John Marshall High School Senior, Hunter Lavender said,” This program actually helped me discover what I wanted to do. Until then I was unsure and this kind of gave me a direction.”
Officials say that with out the help of Chevron implementing the program and the voters in Marshall County supported the levy which has now lead to the sustainability of this program.