Global Engineering Participates in PLTW Showcase

After being invited by the Ingenuity Center at The University of Texas at Tyler, Global High’s engineering program participated in a student showcase on Jan. 24. 

This was an opportunity for Global High, along with a few other schools across Texas, to publicize the exciting and challenging aspects of the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) engineering program. 

The showcase was held in conjunction with the annual PLTW Conference at the Dallas Doubletree Hotel Campbell Center. 

Hundreds of administrators, counselors, and teachers across Texas attended this conference to learn more about PLTW and share ideas.

Global High seniors Dakota Franklin, Blanca Villazana and Melanie Vazquez represented Global High at the showcase and were accompanied by Global High engineering instructors April Moon and Scott Warren. 

The students displayed their project work, engineering journals and portfolios. 

For several hours they were available to present their work and answer questions. 

In addition to discussing the math and science used in their engineering courses, they talked about their experiences with problem solving, project based learning, communication and using the engineering design process. 

The most popular attraction was Dakota’s persistence of vision device, a column of pixels rotating rapidly to draw an image one column at a time.  His device spelled out “Waxahachie Global High.”

During the conference, the students were rewarded for their efforts with a formal luncheon. 

After the conference, Julie Moore, the director of the Ingenuity Center at UT in Tyler, also sent a thank you email to Global High for participating in the showcase. 

“It was obvious from the evaluations that the Student Showcase was a highlight of the conference for the attendees. All of your students are to be commended,” she noted in the email.

Engineering Week (eWeek) is next week!

This is the 60th anniversary of this national event!  The purpose of eWeek is to reach out to current and future generations of engineering talent. (For more information about eWeek, see

Every year, during eWeek, Global High engineering students reach out to younger students in our community to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

In the past, the main focus of these efforts have been with eighth graders, but this year, there are visits planned to the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade campuses during all their lunch periods. 

In addition to setting up a display of student projects, portfolios and engineering brochures, several Global High students and an engineering instructor will be available to answer questions.

April Moon Accepted as a Master Teacher Apprentice and a PLTW Core Instructor

In December, April Moon was added to the Civil Engineering and Architecture Core Training Instructor team for Project Lead The Way, Inc.

The selection process was based on an extensive application process. 

Teachers were chosen based on four criteria: their commitment to excellence, their understanding of the engineering subject matter, the quality of their submission and the endorsement of others. 

For this year, Moon’s official title will be “Master Teacher Apprentice,” and if this provisional appointment is extended,  she will become a “PLTW Master Teacher.” 

In addition, Moon was recently selected to join the Texas’s PLTW core instructor team and will teach Civil Engineering and Architecture to future PLTW teachers during the summer institutes held at UT in Tyler. 

There were only 15 new trainers selected for core instructor positions across the nation, so Moon feels very honored to have this opportunity. 

Being a core instructor has been one of her professional goals since the first day she attended a Project Lead the Way summer institute.

The PLTW summer training sessions typically last two weeks, and during these two weeks, future engineering teachers attend class all day and then have homework.  Due to the intensity of the courses, all participants are required to stay on campus in dorms, which helps establish friendships and a professional network across PLTW. 

The purpose of the training is not only to learn the engineering curriculum and the related software/equipment.  The participants will experience firsthand what their high school students must accomplish during the school year. 

They are required to complete projects/research, work in teams, document/communicate their work and manage all the frustrations that go along with project based learning.

In the end, successful course completion is required to teach PLTW courses and become a PLTW certified school.  In addition to teaching during the summers, core instructors are called upon periodically to help teachers with questions as they work through projects and curriculum throughout the year.  They are also involved with curriculum development and piloting new technology.

Waxahachie Global High is a public Early College High School campus with a limited, maximum class size of 100 students per grade. Enrollment is open each fall to incoming freshman applicants from Waxahachie ISD, homeschool and private school students as well as public school students from the Metroplex area. Throughout the year, the school welcomes applications and provides campus visits for interested students and parents both within and outside of the Waxahachie Independent School District. For more information on Waxahachie Global High, or to schedule a campus tour and receive an application, contact the school office at 972-923-4761. Global High is located at 600 W. Second St. in Waxahachie.

Upcoming Global events

Global High PTO

The next Waxahachie Global High School PTO meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, in the commons of Global High. All parents are encouraged to attend.

Global PTO Yahoo group

The WGH PTO invites any interested parent or family member to join the WGHPTO Yahoo groups. 

This site will allow us to send e-mails to all that request information about what the PTO is doing. It will also serve as a historical information source.  You will be able to read all “old” e-mails to know about past activities.

To join this group, you must e-mail:

Very soon only members of this Yahoo group will receive e-mail communications from the PTO. 

It is strongly suggested that all current parents join to keep informed.

Buy a car, help a school

Roger Sierra, sales consultant with Waxahachie Autoplex, has pledged to donate $100 to the Global High PTO from his commission on any vehicle he sells.

“That’s new or used from any of our stores (which include Buick, GMC, Ford, Mercury, Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep),” Sierra said.

“I’m a huge supporter of Global High and this is something I can to help everytime someone buys a vehicle from me,” he said.

For more information, contact Roger Sierra at 972-938-1991 or 972-351-1496.