By Maureen Robertson
Theresa Grace, Ramona school district’s senior director of education services, has her eyes on the calendar.
She applied for a $49,975 grant through the state’s Specialized Secondary Program and hopes to learn by Friday if the district will receive the money. If it does, a Pathways to Engineering program likely will start at Ramona High School. Two courses will be offered: Introduction to Engineering Design and Principles of Engineering.
School trustees must approve the program. Based on discussions at recent board meetings, they will.
At the trustees’ request, Duane Crum, state leader for Project Lead The Way, recently presented a detailed report on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. Included in the trustees’ priorities for this school year is adopting a nationally proven STEM program that provides curriculum and professional development.
Trustee Rodger Dohm teaches Project Lead The Way courses at Poway High School and supports offering them in Ramona.
“I think that it’s pretty obvious that, when 5,000 schools are doing Project Lead The Way, there must be something to it,” he said.
Project Lead The Way prepares students for the global economy, Crum said, detailing the number of technology jobs available in the country without people trained to do them.
The program offers courses in engineering, biomedical sciences, and information and computer science, said Crum.
“A concern is that as a nation we’re going to fall farther behind if we don’t ramp up math and science and engage students in those fields,” said Grace.