By Mike Carr
In today's era of accelerating technology, product innovation can come from anywhere - high tech businesses, university research centers or even backyard garages where creative inventors are developing the next new thing.
Now it's time to add high schools to the list of places where ideas can grow into promising new products, thanks to the effectiveness of Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a rigorous pre-engineering program that is being embraced by a growing number of school districts nationwide. The growth and success of Project Lead The Way is an important part of the effort to implement effective STEM (science / technology / engineering / mathematics) education programs in schools across America.
PLTW students are learning about technology and coming up with some amazing devices as a result of their class work. And thanks to a growing collaboration between PLTW, IP attorneys and Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), some of these exciting innovations are resulting in patent applications and undergoing in-depth market research to determine their commercial viability.
"Because of the effectiveness of Project Lead The Way, there are some exciting developments coming out of secondary school classrooms," says Mark Schroll, coordinator of K-12 STEM programs at the Kern Family Foundation, an organization that sup...