Robotics and hope — Project Lead the Way grants expands CTE opportunities for students

Aug. 8, 2019 – New computers, software and even robots.

These are just a few of the things that Terry Parker computer science teacher Peter Berta said will now be available for students in his class.

His school was one of eight schools to receive a multi-thousand-dollar competitive grant from Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a non-profit STEM services provider.

The PLTW Verizon Innovation checks were presented to the schools Wednesday morning at a “Back to School” Career and Technical Education breakfast.

“I am so excited to bring this back to the students,” said Berta, who will also be teaching a new PLTW course called Computer Science Essentials. He said the hands-on robotics and app development projects will be “mind blowing” for students.

Beyond the STEM and CTE equipment, software, materials, curriculum and resources that the money will go toward, educators like Peter Berta said it buys something else that is invaluable…hope.

“Project Lead The Way is giving us a chance,” said Berta, who has been teaching computer science at Terry Parker for three years. “They believe in us and they believe in our students. This big check right here is them showing they believe in our school community.”

The sentiment is echoed by Terry Parker principal, Megan Mckinney.

“Our school’s theme this year is ‘You Matter,’” said Mckinney. “This revolves around providing hope to every student at Terry Parker. To provide hope, you have to provide access. Thanks to PLTW, we are providing access to all of these programs.”

Increasing access to CTE programs is an essential part of the district’s vision, Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene told educators at the breakfast.

“We have to do all we can to continue to support our CTE programs,” said Dr. Greene. “For many students, you are the bright lights when they enter our classes. You inspire them to do better in their core courses. CTE is what builds our local economy. Our local businesses are depending on the students in your class. They will not be ready without you.”

The following schools were awarded the PLTW grants:

  • Highlands Middle ($15,000)

  • Kernan Middle ($15,000)

  • Lake Shore Middle ($15,000)

  • Oceanway Middle ($15,000)

  • Stilwell Middle ($15,000)

  • J.E.B. Stuart Middle ($15,000)

  • Twin Lakes Academy Middle ($15,000)

  • Terry Parker High School ($20,000)

For more information about Project Lead the Way, visit

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