It’s a Wednesday morning in a West Haven High School classroom, and Intro to Engineering Design students are designing virtual 3-D models of plastic cube puzzles on advanced computer software.

Soon, a sophomore comes in to work on the 3-D printer that uses student computer designs to create actual prototypes. When another class starts, a senior taking the school’s highest level engineering class inspects the robot he built and its ability to travel only along a piece of black tape on the floor using sensors.

Since first opting to work with national nonprofit Project Lead the Way just a year and a half ago, WHHS and its students have come a long way in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) arena.

WHHS offers Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics and Civil Engineering and Architecture, with curriculum being provided by Project Lead the Way and classes being added each year.
The University of New Haven is also on board as a partner and resource for students and staff.

Such classes and programs teach a different way of thinking, hands-on problem-solving (rather than memorization and chalkboard lessons), teamwork and self-esteem, while exposing kids to possible STEM careers and giving them a chance to earn college credit.

STEM education is at the heart of today’s high-tech, high-skill global economy. For America to remain economically competitive, our next generation of leaders -- the students of today -- must develop the critical-reasoning and problem-solving skills that will help make them the most productive in the world.

Eric Rice, 
Science Department Head & STEM/Project Lead the Way Liaison and Project Lead the Way Engineering & Physics Teacher;

Michael Barraco, Project Lead the Way (STEM) and Integrated Science Teacher;

Robert Piccuillo, Project Lead the Way Teacher;

Raffaela Fronc, Science and STEM District Coordinator;

Click below for a Project Lead the Way informational video: