STEM The Ferndale Board of Education recently approved a new STEM program for 7th and 8th grade students at Ferndale Middle School (FMS) starting 2015-16.

STEM which stands for science, technology, engineering and math, is an interdisciplinary and applied approach to education. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate subjects, STEM programs integrate them into a cohesive program based on real-world applications.

At FMS, 7th and 8th grade students now have the opportunity to take classes from Project Lead the Way (PLTW), an innovative STEM program that has been shown to increase enrollment and achievement in math and science courses.


"The Ferndale Public School's strategic plan that the school board developed in partnership with our community calls for more creative and innovative programming. Adding PLTW to our middle school will increase achievement as well as give our students a look at how science and math classes can be applied to their future professions," said Ferndale School Board President Jim O'Donnell.

PLTW is the nation's leading STEM solution and is taught in over 6,500 schools across the country. FMS, which will be the only middle school in the area to have PLTW, will offer two foundational units starting next fall: designing and modeling and automation and robotics. 

The design and modeling unit will include modules on the engineering and design process, measurement, sketching and dimensioning techniques, and designing for production. The automation and robotics unit will include modules on mechanical systems and automated systems.

"Adding PLTW to our middle school is a great example of our continued commitment to providing all of our students with innovative, relevant and rigorous academic programs," said Ferndale Schools Superintendent Blake Prewitt. 

For more information on the Ferndale Schools STEM program, contact Tom Maes at

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