Solutions to engineer shortage explored at UH


College of Technology partners with Project Lead The Way to provide pre-engineering teacher training

HOUSTON, June 21, 2004 Addressing the engineer shortage that faces the U.S., the University of Houston's College of Technology is hosting teachers from across the country armed and ready to tackle this challenge.

Hosting the fourth annual Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Summer Training Institute through June 25, the UH College of Technology is providing 75 intensive hours of instruction to prepare teachers to meet the "No Child Left Behind" legislation that paves the way toward solving the engineering shortage and diversity issues facing the nation's universities.

Many of the Texas teachers participating in this year's PLTW summer training are doing so as a result of a $200,000 grant provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in order to address the critical need for more students to enter what is known as STEM science, technology, engineering and mathematic career fields. During this intensive, two-week training at UH, teachers are exposed to cutting-edge equipment and software, conducting hands-on research projects and participating in local industry tours.

"So many students are unprepared to make the kinds of decisions we all must make in our current technological society," said John W. Hansen, department chair of Information and Logistics Technology in UH's College of Technology. "We must nurture the development of critical STEM skills if we are to ensure a better future for mankind. UH plays a vital role in seeking solutions to address the situation."

Hansen is responsible for initiating the University of Houston's involvement as a Texas affiliate in PLTW and currently is leading a $1.3 million grant from TEA toward the statewide revision of the technology education curriculum and instructional resources. He also actively works with local schools, colleges and universities to develop 21st century STEM skills in middle and high school students.

"PLTW offers students the opportunity to develop these skills at the middle and high school levels, carrying them to the collegiate level," Hansen said. "Once in college, students are better prepared to become the future engineers, mathematicians and scientists that our society so desperately needs."

PLTW is a national, non-profit organization that forms partnerships among public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from the nation's educational system. This program was established to help schools give students the knowledge they need to excel in high-tech fields. Studies of PLTW's curriculum prove that participating students become the kind of prepared, competent, high-tech employees U.S. industry needs to stay competitive in the global market.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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