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Teaching students is not the same as it was when Sherri Molde went to school, but don't expect her to give you a speech about the "good ol' days."
Molde, a teacher at Hadley Middle School, has helped lead the curriculum that makes the school one-of-a-kind in Kansas. Hadley is the first middle school to earn Project Lead the Way National Certification.
Project Lead the Way provides curriculum steering student interest to engineering and technology.
"We get to play, basically," Molde said. "We get the fun activities, where we're doing hands-on activities. We're kind of like a science lab and a computer lab thrown together."
Middle schools implement Gateway to Technology, a facet of the Project Lead the Way curriculum. It aims at tying science and technology together to encourage students to look into careers in the industries with more courses through high school and college. Wichita has six high schools with Project Lead the Way curriculum.
Molde said Hadley staff began looking into the process to apply for the recognition a year ago.
"It allows us to have some other opportunities, then, as teachers - those of us that teach that class - for some additional professional development," Molde said. "We can apply to pilot new curriculum and field test it.
"What it means for us is we're on a short list of schools that have gone through the process, and we're taking that extra step and really pushing our program, and trying to get kids interested and trying to get them into our classes."
Molde describes the honor as "cool." However, she is not selfish - she wants it to lead other Wichita schools to join Hadley.
"I'm hoping that this is just the first step, and we'll be having additional schools come on board and do the same thing, so that we can really showcase that Wichita is really doing some great things," Molde said.