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LOUDONVILLE -- The Loudonville-Perrysville Board of Education recently approved two new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses and launched partnerships with Pomerene Hospital and NASA.
"The 2017-2018 school year will find all eighth-graders taking two new 12-week STEM courses accredited by Project Lead The Way," said Catherine Puster, L-P district director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. "The courses are flight and space (NASA) and medical detectives (Pomerene)."
According to Puster, the exciting world of aerospace comes alive through the flight and space course. Students explore the science behind aeronautics and use their knowledge to design, prototype, and test model rocket fuel and a glider. Custom-built simulation software allows students to experience space travel. Units include history of flight and space; aeronautics; and traveling and living in space.
Jim Gale, a licensed pilot, will teach the course. Start-up costs for flight and space are provided by a grant from the L-P School Foundation and teacher training accredited by Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is covered by a Straight A Grant from the Ohio Department of Education. Flight and space serves as a gateway to the aerospace/aeronautical engineering pathway of courses.
In the medical detectives course, students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a "crime scene."
They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health. Units include: what is a medical detective?; mysteries of the human body; and murder mystery.
Kori Aubel, a member of the district's Straight A Grant team trained by the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), will teach the course. Start-up costs for medical detectives are provided by a grant from Pomerene Hospital and PLTW-accredited teacher training is covered by a Straight A Grant from the Ohio Department of Education. Medical detectives serves as a gateway to the Bio Science pathway of courses.
Tony Snyder, president and chief executive officer of Pomerene Hospital located in Millersburg, presented the L-P Board of Education with a check in the amount of $6,020.87 to fund the purchase of all instructional materials associated with starting the medical detectives course.
"In addition to funding, the partnership also includes opportunities for students to hear from doctors, nurses and other medical professionals associated with Pomerene Hospital who will serve as guest speakers," Snyder said. "Students will also tour the hospital to learn about careers in healthcare."
Business Development liaison Charese Botjer from Pomerene Hospital said Pomerene Family Care has recently opened in Loudonville and Botjer reached out to the school district to let theme know of Pomerene's service.
"We want to show them we care about their community and wanted to get to know them better," Botjer said. "Within a couple weeks, I met with Puster to talk about the medical detectives program. They put together a wish list and we provided the monetary donation to get the program started."
Puster said she is looking to grow this NASA partnership in coming years.
"The NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland recently contacted the district to explore the possibility of adding an aeronautical/aerospace engineering option to the existing Engineering Capstone course," Puster said.
"This opportunity will provide our students with capstone options in addition to existing partnerships with area businesses in industrial and manufacturing engineering. Our students will meet virtually and face to face with NASA Glenn engineers about topics such as drones and remotely operated vehicles."
"This is exciting news because these courses and partnerships will benefit our students while also advancing the district's brand as a regional leader in STEM," said L-P Superintendent John Miller.
"As I have said many times, opportunities to grow, change and improve don't just happen. They are the result of having a mission-driven focus, the ability to foster partnerships with stakeholders, and a desire to implement programs with content that is both rigorous and relevant taught by teachers who form strong relationships with students."
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or email@example.com.