Apopka High School Receives National Recognition for Transformative STEM Programs

[Orlando, FL] – Apopka High School announced that it has been recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Biomedical Science and Engineering. It is one of just 143 high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in over 12,200 schools across the U.S.

“We are excited to receive this honor,” said Apopka High principal Lyle Heinz. “Our staff has worked hard over several years to continue to build these programs. To be one of only 143 in the nation shows that Apopka High is dedicated to providing the best education to our students and creating opportunities for our magnet students. The recognition for these programs is well deserved and we look forward to many more years of success.”

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. Through PLTW programs, students develop STEM knowledge as well as in-demand, transportable skills that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take. Apopka High offers two PLTW programs: Biomedical Science and Engineering.

PLTW Biomedical Science introduces high school students to medicine and human body systems, as well as the wide array of biomedical science careers. Throughout the program, students take on the same real-world challenges as biomedical science professionals, preparing them for careers in medical and health-related fields.

PLTW Engineering empowers high school students to step into the role of an engineer and adopt a problem-solving mindset. Students engage in collaborative, real-life activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, and exploring algae as a biofuel source. Apopka High’s Advanced Engineering Applications four-year magnet program, which includes the PLTW Engineering courses, is a thorough exploration of the broad spectrum of traditional engineering fields as well as the emerging disciplines in the physical, social, and biological sciences.

To be eligible for the designation, Apopka High had to meet the following criteria for both the Engineering and Biomedical programs:

  • Offer and had students enrolled in at least three PLTW courses;
  • Had 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses;
  • Had 95 percent of students take the End-of-Course (EoC) assessments;
  • Had strategies and procedures in place that support reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty, gender and can support such claims with relevant data.

“It is a great honor to recognize Apopka High for it’s commitment to providing students with an excellent educational experience,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, President and CEO of PLTW. “The school should be very proud of it’s work to ensure students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

Apopka High is part of a community of PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit pltw.org/our-programs/program-recognition.