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Real-world projects drive CTE learning

Superintendent Curtis Cain, whose students in the Wentzville School District in Missouri follow the Project Lead the Way curriculum, have brought CTE education to life through projects such as creating a customized sensory cane for a fellow student.

And students in a biomedical course developed a “Zacket” for a classmate with mobility issues.

It’s a jacket that can easily be worn over the wheelchair.


Link to main story: Schools promote career-tech


Meanwhile, students in an engineering design course built a custom wheelchair for a very young child who is the daughter of a teacher.

Introducing students to CTE pathways bolstered by STEM instruction and infused with real-world problems creates an environment where students are more eager learn, Cain says.

“It’s great to talk about academic performance, but they didn’t have to do any of these projects,” Cain says. “The fact is, they are driven.” All fields, including all CTE courses, now require STEM, Cain says. “We are best serviced when we include and embed STEM into everything we do.”


Shawna De La Rosa is a freelance writer in California.

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