Home » Two New Hartford teachers look to enhance students’ STEM and career readiness

Two New Hartford teachers look to enhance students’ STEM and career readiness

In September, two New Hartford Central School District teachers attended a professional learning conference focused on how to equip students with the skills they will need to thrive in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

Mike Amante, technology teacher at Perry Junior High School, and Gary VonDauber, engineering and technology teacher at New Hartford Senior High School, participated in Project Lead the Way’s (PLTW) MasterMinds Conference in Dallas, Texas.

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that develops STEM curriculum for prekindergarten through grade 12. The curriculum focuses on hands-on, real-world activities, projects, and problems that help students understand how the knowledge and skills they develop in the classroom may be applied in everyday life, according to PLTW’s website.

The three-day conference is attended by educators from across the country. During collaborative professional training sessions, attendees learned about emerging changes to the PLTW curriculum, best practices and tools for project-based assessment and evaluation, and effective methodology to
enhance student engagement.

“It was a tremendous experience and a great honor to represent the district at this nationwide event,” said Mr. VonDauber.

We gained invaluable knowledge and access to resources that will help improve the innovative approach we offer to our students in New Hartford through PLTW’s program.

Mr. VonDauber

“One of the greatest aspects of the PLTW network is the collaboration with educators who are experts in their field,” Mr. Amante said. “I’m looking forward to incorporating cutting-edge practices to strengthen our program.”

Both Mr. Amante and Mr. VonDauber are PLTW Master Teachers, educators who have been designated by PLTW, through a rigorous selection process, to onboard and train new teachers in specialized content areas.

Mr. Amante has been a PLTW Master Teacher of Computer Science Principles for five years. He teaches Python programming, and general theory behind computer networks, cybersecurity and other computing topics that align with the Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles Exam.

Mr. VonDauber has been a PLTW Master Teacher of Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems for twenty years, teaching CNC programming, robotics, and other advanced manufacturing operations.

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