There are about 165 students who take an end-of-course assessment in May, a test based on their past year’s class or classes, and some students test in introduction to engineering while others test in principles of engineering or digital electronics or civil engineering and architecture, said Ricks.
“I’m very excited about this! Not only are we No. 1 again, we are 5 percent above the other schools taking the exact same test across the state,” said Ricks. “I would like to thank all the community partners, parents and students who have worked so hard to help our program be successful.”
Students are eligible to receive college credit based on the test scores and their grade in the class, said Ricks, who added that some students will have more than 15 hours of college credit before they leave high school, and that 78 students received college credit last year alone.
Currently, there are 17 high schools in Kentucky that are involved in Project Lead the Way, a few of which are certified, including Trigg County High School, and the state is looking at a grant to include at least 10 more high schools in the program, Ricks said. She also said the program is “very large” across the nation.
Ricks said the tests, which are all online, aren’t easy. “We go through however many days of curriculum and try to get it all in, and then they get 50 random questions of rigorous events that have happened throughout the curriculum that the kids have to be able to answer,” she said.
The state, Ricks added, has only been compiling scores across the state for the past two years.
Ricks has taught at the school for six years, and started the school’s engineering program, which she was hired to do. She also writes the grant that makes possible the annual Engineering Summit, held at Lake Barkley State Resort Park every spring.
The grant for the Engineering Summit is written through the Pennyrile Allied Development District office, and that grant, which will be available in February, is used to run the competition in May, Ricks said, adding that she hopes they’ll get to do it again next year.
Ricks and Sharon Butts of the Cadiz/Trigg County Economic Development Commission organize the day, as far as which competitions will be used and when, and then they host it at the park, said Ricks.