Affinis Partners with Project Lead the Way

Posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 by
In Community, Culture, Helping Out, tagged in

In 2007, the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) implemented Project Lead the Way (PLTW) as the district’s signature engineering program at Shawnee Mission South High School. PLTW offers a variety of courses designed to introduce students to the scope, rigor, and discipline of engineering prior to entering college. In this program, students work in teams to solve real-world problems. Their training includes usage of state-of-the-art computer software and technology.

One of the many courses in the Engineering Pathway is Civil Engineering and Architecture (Honors). Here, students apply knowledge of project planning, site planning, building design, project documentation, and project presentation. The main focus of the course is a long-term project involving the development of a local project site.

This year, the class was given the task of designing a venue for the SMSD’s property located at the northwest corner of 107th Street and Nall Avenue. Each of the 11 student teams formally presented their projects to a three member review panel. The panel included the PLTW Instructor (Mr. Greg Thiel) and two members of the Partnership Team, which is comprised of representatives from higher education, engineering and architecture businesses, and the community. This year, Les Hamilton, who represented Affinis on the Partnership Team, acted as a reviewer, along with a local architect.

The proposed venues included various multi-use developments, a library, museum, performing arts center, and recreational facilities. “By exploring their design concepts, the students gained an understanding of the complexity each of their solutions would entail. They learned a successful project often requires the consideration of multiple ideas and that teamwork is essential. Their enthusiasm for both their projects and the STEM curriculum was evident in their presentations,” said Les.

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