Niskayuna High School receives national recognition for STEM curriculum

Niskayuna High School has been recognized as a 2022-23 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School. It is one of eight high schools in New York State and 262 high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning experiences for students through PLTW’s engineering program. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in more than 12,200 schools across the U.S. 

“This recognition is a testament to our teachers’ commitment to providing students with exceptional educational experiences and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the STEM fields,” said Jessica Moore, Director of K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. “I am incredibly proud of our students’ hard work and the dedication our engineering technology teachers have demonstrated to empowering students. We look forward to inspiring and engaging more students through Project Lead the Way’s transformative learning experiences.”

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, Niskayuna High School had to meet the following criteria in the 2021-22 school year: 

  • Had 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses;  
  • Offer and had students enrolled in at least three PLTW courses;  
  • Have strategies in place that support reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty and/or gender.

Niskayuna High School offers five PLTW courses, including Design and Drawing for Production and Civil Engineering and Architecture. On successful completion of these courses, students can receive 3 college credits from the Rochester Institute of Technology. 300 students participated in PLTW engineering courses over the course of the 2021-22 school year. PLTW Engineering empowers high school students to step into the role of an engineer and adopt a problem-solving mindset. Students engage in collaborative, real-life activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, and exploring algae as a biofuel source. 

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Students in Design and Drawing for Production each created a customized 3D bookmark for a classmate after engaging in conversation and learning more about them.

“We are proud to recognize Niskayuna High School for their commitment to providing students with exceptional educational experiences while ensuring equitable access to PLTW programs,” said Dr. David Dimmett, PLTW President and CEO. “We congratulate them on this achievement and celebrate their important work empowering students with the knowledge and skills to succeed, not only in STEM subjects but also more generally in life and career.”

Niskayuna High School is part of a community of PreK-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