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Caz HS named as one of best in STEM education

Cazenovia technology teacher Jason Hyatt, left, stands next to Project Lead The Way Director of Northeast Region Carol Malstrom as she presents Chris Hurd, center, with a national award commemorating the school’s recognition as one of 16 national “Model Schools” and the success of the technology department’s PLTW Pre-Engineering Program, as Jason Webb and Robert Axelson look on, May 15.

Cazenovia technology teacher Jason Hyatt, left, stands next to Project Lead The Way Director of Northeast Region Carol Malstrom as she presents Chris Hurd, center, with a national award commemorating the school’s recognition as one of 16 national “Model Schools” and the success of the technology department’s PLTW Pre-Engineering Program, as Jason Webb and Robert Axelson look on, May 15. Photo by Pierce Smith.

Project Lead the Way, the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum, named Cazenovia High School as one of the 16 national 2010-11 “Model Schools” for their leadership in STEM education.

On Tuesday, May 15, PLTW Director of Northeast Region Carol Malstrom presented the technology department with a commemorative plaque, honoring department leader Chris Hurd and the four integral teachers, for the success of their PLTW Pre-Engineering Program.

“As one of the first schools in the country to implement the Project Lead The Way Pathway to Engineering program in 1999, Cazenovia High School has been a proven leader in providing quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction to students. Over 40 percent of last year’s graduating seniors chose college fields of study related to these disciplines, and over 20 percent of the graduates specifically entered technical and engineering career paths,” Malstrom said. “Chris Hurd is a master teacher of the computer integrated manufacturing course and has completed core training for five PLTW engineering courses. Not only has Chris spent over 400 hours completing training courses, each summer he teaches other teachers how to implement PLTW curriculum. Together with Principal Eric Schnabl, these teachers have connected with the community to build broad partnerships that provide students with mentorships and opportunities to interact with engineering and science professionals.”

Hurd, along with Robert Axelson, Jason Webb, Jason Hyatt and Thuc Phan, helped the Cazenovia High School Technology Department achieve the reputation of a “PLTW Model School” out of 4,200 educational institutions nationwide.

Collectively, the 16 model schools encompass the best that PLTW has to offer today’s middle school and high school students: rigorous, hands-on STEM curriculum that inspires students, unlocks their potential, and prepares them for the competitive, 21st century global marketplace.

“I would like to thank our administration and our board of education for being forward-thinking enough to know that STEM education is very important for so many reasons,” Hurd said. “The biggest reason it is important is because 18 percent of this year’s graduating class is going into technology related fields, and another 20 to 25 percent are going into the fields of math and science. The problem solving skills taught in these courses help all students. Some of my most successful students in the program have gone on to be doctors and lawyers, as well as business, agriculture and history majors. Our program has thrived because of this forward thinking, and hopefully the support will continue, so our students will all be able to benefit from it.”

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