© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Expanding Program Inspires Young Engineers

Students at Rosedal Middle School build gears in Project Lead the Way's Automation and Robotics class. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross/KCUR.


Kansas City, MO – This week, Kansas legislators announced a new task force to study the state's shortage of engineering graduates. Leaders say there's an increasing demand for skilled engineers in areas such as energy, water and health care, which will play a key role in the state's future economic prosperity. Many colleges find that students who might be interested in engineering aren't academically prepared to succeed in the major. But a new curriculum in Kansas City area middle and high schools, on both sides of state line, is trying to fill the gap.

Nineteen local school districts have implemented Project Lead the Way - it's a rigorous course of study designed for middle and high school students. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross recently stopped by Rosedale Middle School in Kansas City Kansas to watch the program in action.

We also spoke to the national Project Lead the Way Vice President Dick Blais, who developed the original curriculum.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.