A.E.T at South Park High School
South Park High School and the district as a whole has been developing and growing its S.T.E.A.M department for many years. The high school specifically introduced Project Lead the Way (P.L.T.W) to its curriculum around 10 years ago. This change was very drastic at first but has proven to be very beneficial for the students. Our P.L.T.W curriculum consists of four courses: Introduction to Engineering & Design (I.E.D), Priciples of Engineering (P.O.E), Digital Electronics (D.E), and Capstone Engineering Design & Development (E.D.D). P.L.T.W has been very beneficial to our district, all of the courses are Honors level courses, which allows many Honors & AP students to participate and still remain competitive in their academic standings. Since the introduction of these courses most of the high school's Valedictorian's and Salutatorian's have come through our Applied Engineering & Technology (A.E.T) department and are pursuing careers in Engineering and Manufacturing at the Post-Secondary level.
Another major factor to the development of S.T.E.A.M in our high school, is Bots IQ. We have been participating in Bots IQ for around 12 years. Starting out the competition was new and we struggled. We had to machine all of our parts in-house and we didn't have the greatest equipment for this. Eventually, as the competition grew, they started to introduce industry sponsors, which helped. For several years we still struggled, this time to find a industry sponsor that met our needs. However, around 7 years ago we partnered with Dura-Metal Products Corporation out of Irwin, Pa. Since partnering with them we have been able to excel as a team. This has been very rewarding for not only our students, but also our department. Not many people are aware of the student capabilities within our department, so with the increased publicity Bots IQ has given us in recent years, students are able to prove themselves in a way. The increased publicity also obviously helps with funding. When board members and administration see success coming from our department they are more likely to fund new equipment.