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STEM Earns Project Lead The Way Distinction

3 May 2024 · Office of Communications

As always, Orange students shine, highlighting how the district is committed to student success.
STEM named a distinguished school for STEM curriculum and career readiness. 

ORANGE, NJ — STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges has been recognized as a 2023-24 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School. It is one of just a few hundred high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for providing broad access to transformative learning experiences for students through PLTW biomedical sciences and mechanical engineering courses. 

PLTW is a national nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in over 12,200 schools across the U.S., aiming to make every student in every grade STEM successful. 

"This recognition is not just a celebration of our previous achievements but a promise to continue paving the way for our students' success," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gerald Fitzhugh, II. "Our exciting learning opportunities provided in Orange Public Schools build bridges to a world of opportunity for our students."

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, Orange Innovation Academy of the Oranges had to meet multiple criteria in the 2022-23 school year, such as the number of PLTW courses available to students, percent of students enrolled in PLTW, percentage of students taking more than one PLTW course, and efforts to ensure equitable access to PLTW courses.

"Our faculty and staff work diligently to provide our future leaders with transformative learning experiences," said Dr. Devonii Reid, Principal of STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges. "I am proud to lead a school where all our scholars' potential is acknowledged and supported, setting them on a path towards endless success."

Project Lead The Way's Biomedical Science program immerses high school students in medicine and human body systems, offering insights into various biomedical science careers through hands-on challenges. Our engineering programs through PLTW equip students with an inventive perspective, developing their problem-solving skills through interactive projects such as home design, electronics programming, and biofuel exploration.

PLTW high school programs prepare today's students for the careers of tomorrow by not only incorporating STEM skills into their learning but also building students' collaboration, teamwork, and communication skills so they can be ready for whatever path they take.

"We are honored to recognize STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges for their commitment to providing students with exceptional educational experiences while ensuring equitable access to PLTW programs," said Dr. David Dimmett, President and CEO of Project Lead The Way. "We congratulate them on this achievement and celebrate their dedication to empowering students with the knowledge and skills to succeed, not only in STEM subjects but also in preparing them for future careers and life outside of the classroom."

STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges is part of a distinguished community of PreK-12 schools, colleges, and universities, as well as corporate and philanthropic partners across the country, united around a commitment to providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities.  

For prospective parents and guardians interested in applying for STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges for their middle school students, more information can be found at

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About Orange Public Schools

Orange Public Schools provide a diverse range of opportunities and programs to meet the needs of over 5,800 students supported by over 900 staff members in eight elementary schools, one middle school, one comprehensive high school, one alternative high school, one high school dedicated to advanced STEM studies, a gifted and talented academy, and a renowned preschool program for children ages three and four.

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