Congrats PLTW Distinguished Schools!

Elementary students participate in their STEM courses. All eight elementary schools within Valparaiso Community Schools (VCS) received the recognition out of 310 schools in the United States. Benjamin Franklin Middle School is one of 158 middle schools to earn this recognition.


Valparaiso Community Schools is one of few districts in the state to offer PLTW programming for all grade levels. “The variety of STEM offerings allows us to engage students at all grade levels in relevant, collaborative hands-on learning experiences that they will carry with them in college, careers, and life,” Superintendent Dr. Jim McCall said. 


Elementary and middle school students take part in computer science, engineering and biomedical science lessons while high school students have an even more extensive STEM catalog including computer science, biomedical science, architecture, aerospace engineering and other areas. The STEM program at Valparaiso High School focuses on preparing students for college and careers in STEM fields. 


“Our students have the ability to leave high school fully prepared for their first and second years of college in an engineering or architectural discipline or to move into the marketplace with real world skills in drawing, design, and management, as well as the ability to use state of the art STEM tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, Virtual Reality software and equipment, and engineering related shop tools,” said STEM Instructor Tarik El-Naggar.


Valparaiso Community Schools is part of a community of K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit