FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Covenant Christian Academy Becomes First School in Fauquier to Adopt Project Lead The Way (PLTW) STEM Program
[Warrenton, VA] – Covenant Christian Academy (CCA) announced today that it has adopted Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) Gateway and Computer Science programs, designed to engage middle and high school students in creative and critical thinking, develop problem-solving skills and prepare them for opportunities in the fastest growing career fields. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers in computer science, engineering and biomedical science.
Covenant Christian Academy joins more than 8,000 schools across the U.S. in offering PLTW programs to students. PLTW programs are currently available at more than 90 schools across Virginia, including Governor’s Schools and specialty STEM programs around the state. CCA is the first school in Fauquier County to offer PLTW programs and one of only a few private schools offering these programs in Virginia.
CCA will offer PLTW’s Introduction to Computer Science (ICS) in middle and high school for the 2016-2017 school year, with plans to expand into other programs as the school grows. Students enrolled in ICS will engage in hands-on problem-solving and mobile application development using the Python® programming language and MIT App Inventor®. In support of the PLTW program, CCA has also purchased 15 tablets for student use in the classroom and for home assignments.
The PLTW Computer Science program engages students in real-life activities like creating an online art portal or using automation to process and analyze DNA-sequence data. These projects challenge students to think big and illustrate how intricately computer science is woven into our society. As students work together to brainstorm solutions, they test their limits, question what’s possible, and transform into builders of tech, rather than bystanders.
“PLTW has a long history of successfully engaging students in STEM subjects,” said Amanda Bryson, assistant principal. “We are very happy to be offering PLTW Computer Science to our students, giving them an advantage over their peers when it comes to high school, college, and career readiness. In future years, we hope to offer other PLTW courses such as Automation & Robotics, Science of Technology, Introduction to Engineering Design, and more.”
As a PLTW school, CCA is part of a community of K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. PLTW students are afforded a variety of opportunities including scholarships, preferred admission at colleges and universities, internships, industry connections, and avenues to highlight achievements.
Teachers play an immeasurable role in empowering students to lead their own learning. In addition to providing K-12 curricular pathways, PLTW provides high-quality professional development training that provides teachers with the support and resources they need to devote more time to inspiring students.
CCA PLTW lead teacher John Tittle will spend a week this summer at Bucknell University, preparing for the new program and learning from other PLTW teachers across the country. Mr. Tittle has already connected with several other PLTW professionals in the northern Virginia area. He says, “We are just getting started and the support CCA has received from PLTW already is nothing short of extraordinary. I’m very excited for the opportunities and challenges available for me as a teacher and for my students as learners.” Mr. Tittle will also teach a high school Electronics class at CCA and is excited about the possibility offering PLTW’s Digital Electronics and Introduction to Engineering Design courses in the future for students interested in the computer science and engineering fields.
“It is important for today’s students to understand computer science and develop skills in computational thinking,” said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram. “By giving students access to courses in computer science, Covenant Christian Academy is preparing students to meet the demands of the fastest-growing career field and better understand the career options available to them.”
For more information on Covenant Christian Academy’s new PLTW Computer Science program, contact Amanda Bryson at 540-680-4111.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. More than 8,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.
Covenant Christian Academy (CCA) is a University-Model® School currently serving 140 students in grades K-10th. The school opened in 2009 and received national certification in 2015. CCA follows a unique educational model combining on-campus instruction two or three days a week with home instruction on alternate days. CCA students come from five different Virginia counties, and all educational backgrounds. For more information, visit covenantva.org or call 540-680-4111.