Illinois High School Students Showcase Robust STEM Knowledge for U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos During 2017-2018 School Year

Canton High School was one of 26 rural Illinois schools to receive a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) grant funded by Astellas USA Foundation’s Rural Spark Project™
Jun 4, 2018 12:00 PM ET

Canton, Illinois, is leading the way with science, technology, math and engineering curriculum. Thanks to a grant from Project Lead The Way (PLTW) made possible by Astellas USA Foundation, teachers in Canton High School are changing the shape of STEM education for the next generation. With hands-on and real-world curricular programming and teacher training, students have better access to the tools needed to fuel their imaginations and pursue STEM-related careers.

“Without the help of Astellas USA Foundation and Project Lead The Way, we would not be where we are today,” said Rolf Sivertsen, superintendent of Canton School District. “We’re now on the cusp of leadership in areas such as computer science, biomedical science and engineering, and our students have the potential to excel beyond expectations and adapt to an ever-changing world.”

Astellas USA Foundation established the Rural Spark Project™ to address the STEM education gap rural students often face, and to help them receive the same opportunities and quality of education as their urban and suburban peers.

“Project Lead The Way is proud to partner with Astellas USA Foundation to ensure that students and teachers in Illinois’ rural communities have the same access to high-quality STEM education as their urban and suburban peers,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, PLTW president and chief executive officer. “With Astellas USA Foundation’s support, we will help ensure that all students have the in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive [in] our rapidly evolving world.”

Rep. Bustos’ visit to Canton High School drew attendance from local elected officials, community leaders, media and representatives from PLTW and Astellas USA Foundation. During the tour, visitors toured classrooms, and talked to PLTW Biomedical Science and PLTW Engineering students and teachers about their hands-on projects to build a strong understanding of STEM.

When speaking about PLTW’s hands-on approach, Rep. Bustos said, “It’s a good way to learn. They're doing what they can here in Canton to make the most of [what] they have, and they're stretching it out to help the kids."