Kearsley High School recently partnered with Project Bike Tech (PBT) to adopt their project-based curriculum for the upcoming school year. PBT currently operates in high schools in 22 states but Kearsley is the first school in Michigan to adopt the program.
PBT’s primary program, Bike Tech in School, is an accredited high school elective that uses bicycle mechanics as a conduit to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts to students. The program also incorporates career building skills and techniques as a component of the class. Students leave the course knowing the basics of portfolio building, resume writing and interview tactics. Project Bike Tech will be a scheduled class that students attend within the course of their regular school day. Approximately 40 students are currently enrolled for the upcoming school year and will earn a certificate of achievement in Bicycle Technology: Level 1 following their successful completion of the course.
The idea originated when a group of KHS teachers Jason Titsworth& Jack Linn brought forward this curriculum as a proposal. After going through a thorough curriculum review process, the concept was brought forward and eventually adopted by the Board of Education.
“Through our research, the students of KHS have indicated a strong desire to take classes that provide them with real world skills. The Project Bike Tech class/lab will indeed provide students with daily hands-on learning opportunities, while introducing them to a variety of trade based career pathways” said Titsworth.
Jack Linn has been identified as the Project Bike Tech instructor. “I'm hoping students will see this class as a springboard to all sorts of career-skilled opportunities that our workforce needs now and in the future, in the bicycling field or any other industry.” says Linn. Preparation for PBT’s arrival is already underway and includes converting Linn’s current classroom to a bike repair laboratory.
KHS students are excited to implement other skills and information they have learned through some of their other high school courses and make connections in the PBT course. Kelly VanConant, current 11th grade student at KHS, expressed her excitement about the course’s possibilities, “The Project Bike Tech class sounds very interesting to me. I have taken the Drafting and Design class at KHS and feel that Project Bike Tech will allow me to further my mechanically related skills.”
PBT will also offer hands-on experience to students who are interested in or plan on attending vocational programs and their future careers. Anthony Johnson, current 9th grader, is looking forward to taking the Project Bike Tech class. “I believe the skills learned in class will help prepare me for a future career as a mechanic”
The district is hopeful that PBT is the beginning of increased vocational and hands-on learning opportunities for our high school students. In today’s fast-paced, global economy, it’s more important than ever to provide our students with a variety of career-based opportunities.