PLTW Thriving in Wisconsin; Education Program Grew 37% in 2009

Wisconsin students’ participation in an innovative series of classes that blend science, technology, engineering and math grew by 37 percent in 2009.

Online PR News – 05-March-2010 – – (March 4, 2010) – Wisconsin students’ participation in Project Lead the Way (PTLW) – an innovative series of middle and high school classes that blend science, technology, engineering and math – grew by 37 percent in 2009. Nearly 28,000 students from 200 schools took part in the program. The numbers are indicative of the program’s continued growth within the state, which featured 15,000 Dairyland students two years ago. Nationally, PLTW courses are offered in 3,500 schools.

“Experience in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is vital to students as they prepare for college and the workforce,” said Steve Salter, PLTW Wisconsin affiliate director, “With more than half of the engineers and scientists in the United States nearing retirement, technical industries are in desperate need of workers who will be responsible for innovation and economic growth. The commitment and dedication of Wisconsin school students, teachers and administrators are to be applauded.”

According to U.S. government data, job openings requiring expertise in STEM will increase by 18.3 percent through 2014. Many of Wisconsin’s fastest-growing industries and highest-demand jobs are in fields that require a background in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Project Lead the Way provides students with a rigorous pre-engineering program that uses the latest in high-tech computer software.

The program gained greater support in 2009 when the University of Wisconsin (UW) System approved a policy allowing students who complete certain PLTW high school classes to earn advanced standing credit at UW System schools. Additionally, program credit and/or scholarships are available through Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering and many of the UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System campuses.

Business and state education leaders plan to continue PLTW expansion during 2010. Enrollment since the program’s start in 1999 has steadily increased due to the collaborative efforts of schools, public and private organizations and the business community.

Through a small state allocation, Gov. Jim Doyle, the legislature, the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Workforce Development have fueled program growth and leveraged private and school district support. Rockwell Automation, Vogel Construction, WPS, Bradley Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Kern Family Foundation, Oconomowoc Community Foundation, Ann Marie Foundation and others have generously supported Wisconsin schools to ensure the PLTW curriculum reaches more students each year.

About Project Lead The Way

Created in response to the expected 15 million engineer and technical worker shortage (according to U.S. Government estimates) in the U.S. by the year 2015, PLTW helps students apply academic engineering and technology concepts in compelling, real-world ways. The program has established partnerships with schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

General information about PLTW can be found at, while state-specific information is located at At these websites, school leaders interested in initiating PLTW at their schools may learn more about the program. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Affiliate Director Steve Salter at or 414-277-7255.

Editors Note: To arrange an interview with national state or local PLTW leaders, or receive photos of students participating in PLTW activities, contact Chad Ritterbusch or Marc Whitney at 262.786.5970.