Southbridge Public Schools Receives Grant to Support STEM Career Learning

April 11, 2024

SOUTHBRIDGE, MA — Southbridge Public Schools has received a grant from the One8 Foundation to offer Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum to students. This will better prepare students for school and career success in the computer programming field.

“Computer science and cybersecurity are growing industries nationwide,” said Donna Zannelli, the STEM coordinator for Southbridge Public Schools. “This program will give students a step up in college, where it’s important to have foundational knowledge.”

PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides coursework in computer science, engineering and biomedical science to more than 12,000 schools nationwide. This grant will support teacher development and purchase of course materials and equipment.

“The addition of PLTW courses will be yet another opportunity to provide Southbridge students with an engaging, rigorous curriculum that will give them greater opportunities post-high school,” said Receiver/Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey A. Villar.

Since 2017, the One8 Foundation alongside the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, the Workforce Skills Cabinet and the Massachusetts Life Science Center has provided support to expand PLTW programming for students in the Commonwealth.

“Students are hungry for experiences that allow them to apply what they are learning to solve real-world, meaningful problems. Providing equitable access to hands-on applied learning programs that deliver academic gains while building critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills ensures students are engaged and interested in school and prepared for success in this ever-changing world,” said Joanna Jacobson, President of the One8 Foundation.