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Project Lead The Way Distinguished School

Apollo-Ridge Middle School has been recognized as a 2023-24 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School. This honor is given to a select number of middle schools across the U.S. for providing broad access to transformative learning experiences for students through PLTW Gateway, a grade 6-8 STEM curriculum. PLTW is a national nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S. 

“STEM education causes students to become outside the box thinkers, problem solvers, and risk takers which are all 21st century skills they will need for their future jobs.  Our focus at A-RMS is to have our students continue to develop those skills and gain exposure to STEM related career fields.  This designation isn’t possible without the hard work and dedication from our STEM/Project Lead the Way instructor, Ms. Angel Stahl.”
Travis Barta (Middle School Principal)

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Apollo-Ridge Middle School had to meet a variety of criteria such as the percentage of students participating in PLTW, the percentage of students who participate in more than one PLTW unit, the number of PLTW units offered, and efforts to ensure equitable access to PLTW courses.

Research shows that the middle grades play a pivotal role in influencing high school, college, and career success. During this transitional time, it’s crucial to provide students with access to relevant, engaging, and real-world learning experiences that expose the range of career paths and possibilities available to them. Whether designing an automated robotics system or exploring aerospace by creating designs and prototypes, PLTW Gateway students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and develop confidence in STEM subjects.

“We are honored to recognize Apollo-Ridge Middle School for their commitment to providing students with exceptional educational experiences while ensuring equitable access to PLTW programs,” said Dr. David Dimmett, PLTW President and CEO. "We congratulate them on this achievement and celebrate their dedication to empowering students with the knowledge and skills to succeed, not only in STEM subjects, but preparing them for future careers and life beyond the classroom."

Apollo-Ridge Middle School is part of a community comprised of PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a commitment to providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities.  For more information about PLTW’s Distinguished Program Recognition, visit pltw.org/our-programs/program-recognition.  

For more information on Apollo-Ridge Middle School’s PLTW Gateway program, contact Travis Barta (Middle School Principal) at (724) 478-6000  ext: 2000 or [email protected].

About Project Lead The Way

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a program that provides STEM related courses and content.  Through the PLTW programs, students develop in-demand, transportable skills – such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication – that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take. As PLTW students progress through the different courses, they are empowered to explore various different career paths.  Students that spend their entire 3 years at A-RMS will take the following Project Lead The Way Courses:
- Design and Modeling
- Automation and Robotics
- Computer Science for Innovators and Makers

Click here to learn more about the Project Lead The Way Program.