Engineering classes are becoming more popular in high schools, and their growing enrollment is saving them from budget cancellations.
At Timberlane Regional High School, the pre-engineering program struggled for years to meet minimum enrollment standards and faced cancellation. However there has been a significant turn around in program building and enrollment. Today, the pre-engineering program is booming.
“We started off slow and sort of ramped it up now,” said Mark Pedersen, dean of science and engineering at Timberlane Regional High and Middle schools.
The course that has seen the most uptick is the Intro to Engineering class, which used to run only one or two sections a year. Now it runs five.
“We have really blossomed that course,” said Pedersen.
Project Lead the Way was a big part of their initial rollout of the engineering program curriculum. Project Lead the Way is a nonprofit group which provides advanced resources to schools in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. The goal is to teach students to think critically and learn technical skills while problem solving.
When the program was certified by PLTW in 2013, it was required to meet certain standards. Commitment was required to attain standards and involve an advisory committee made up of outside engineers who would work with students and teachers. Since then, numbers have been steadily increasing.