07/12/09 — Engineering curriculum to change

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Engineering curriculum to change

By Staff Reports
Published in News on July 12, 2009 12:25 AM

Wayne School of Engineering students will tackle world hunger as part of their curriculum in the fall.

Through coursework and after-school activities, students will be given opportunities to evaluate world famine in a technologically globalized society, officials said.

During the summer months, teachers are developing lesson plans, creating assessments for data collection and refining curriculums for the program. Each core subject area will also focus on the issue.

"As a staff, we wanted to develop a project that would challenge our students while providing them with a relevant connection to today's world," said drafting teacher Steven Reese.

In addition to coursework, students can also participate in the newly-formed Agricultural Research Club, or ARC. Members will sponsor monthly activities such as gardening and fundraising for charities. The initial project will be a community outreach project involving the construction of rain barrels.

"It will be exciting to see our students gain an awareness of the severity of an overlooked problem that is within our society's means to solve," said Tiffiany Nurse, club advisor.

Gary Hales, WSE principal, says the program will enrich the standard high school curriculum being taught.

"Our school focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. Through an in-depth study of global hunger, teachers can increase rigor and relevance in education, and allow students to apply information being learned in the classroom to address real world problems," he said.

The project was created in conjunction with the Learning Lab Initiative, part of the North Carolina New Schools Project, and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the development of innovative high schools that can demonstrate rigorous, highly effective instruction and deep student engagement to educators, university faculty and policymakers.

Wayne School of Engineering is one of four high schools in the state that participates in the Learning Lab Initiative.

"As a model for schools around the state and nation, our staff will be able to share effective strategies and measurable data that can be used by other schools to help produce graduates ready to succeed in the 21st Century," Hales said.