East High School Achieves Certification for Innovative Project Lead The Way Engineering Program

East High School will aim to engage more students in the fields of engineering and technology thanks to a national program called Project Lead The Way, which offers a rigorous curriculum that allows students to apply what they are learning in math and science class to real-life engineering and technology projects.

East High School has been offering Project Lead The Way (PLTW) since 2008, and received national certification on May 11 for demonstrating a commitment to the quality national standards of the Pathway To Engineering™ program. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, providing students with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in these areas. 

PLTW has over 35 affiliate college and university partners that offer students credit for completing certain PLTW courses in high school, including Iowa State University and The University of Iowa in Iowa.

“We’ve seen how the PLTW program draws more students to engineering and technology courses and gets them thinking about college and their career,” said East High School principal Mike Zelenovich. “We are extremely proud to be PLTW certified and ecstatic that our students can begin receiving college credits for certain PLTW classes.”

Connie Sievers, curriculum coordinator for Career & Technical Education for Des Moines Public Schools, and a team composed of East High School teachers, staff, students, and members of the community completed a self-assessment of the school’s implementation of the Pathway to Engineering™ program that culminated in a site visit by a national PLTW certification specialist.  The certification team met with teachers, administration, counselors, students, community representatives and reviewed student work.

“East High School has demonstrated its commitment to the quality standards of PLTW’s Pathway to Engineering program and the real winners are East High students,” said John Lock, President and CEO of PLTW. “Students are benefiting from an innovative curriculum that encourages creativity and critical thinking and on top of that, they can earn college credit for some of these courses.”