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Port High Likely to Expand Tech Program, Adding Teacher Part of Plans

The Port Washington-Saukville School Board Personnel and Programs Committee offered support of a roughly $160,000 investment in the technology programs offered at Port High.

Port Washington-Saukville school officials are continuing their commitment to science and technology curriculum with plans for a roughly $160,000 investment to programs at the high school.

The School Board Personnel and Programs and Committee met on Monday night to discuss the plans to hire an additional teacher in the tech department for the 2013-14 school year, as well as launch a biomedical sciences course, according to an Ozaukee Press article.

Investments in technology upgrades as well as the cost of the teacher would add up to about $160,000, the article said, and the additional teacher will allow more students to take the class.

The committee recommended approval of the plans; the School Board will likely take a vote at its next full board meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 11.

Among the classes to be offered in 2013-14 are: Introduction to Engineering Design; Principals of Engineering Design; Digital Electronics; Computer Integrated Machining; Residential Wiring; Manufacturing Enterprise; Architectural Drawing; and more. 

The biomedical sciences program is a curriculum established by Project Lead the Way, a national nonprofit that works with schools across the country to further education in science and technology fields.

In the program, "Students explore the concepts of human medicine and are introduced to topics such as physiology, genetics, microbiology and public health," according to the website. "Through activities, like dissecting a heart, students examine the processes, structures and interactions of the human body — often playing the role of biomedical professionals."

The school district has been offering Project Lead the Way courses as well as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses to middle school and high school students for several years, and the programs continue to evolve.

  • Related: "It's about creating opportunities for the students."

The district also has a number of partnerships with local businesses because of these programs, to not only help with funding but also to offer opportunities to the students. The most recently announced partnership is with Charter Steel of Saukville, and a local Rockwell Automation employee recently spoke to the School Board about his role with the district's first robotics team.

"We had to get students exposed to these STEM skills — research shows that the jobs these kids are going to be applying for are going to require (these type of) skills," Alec Belling, a technology and engineering teacher who works with the STEM program at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. 

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