Area K-12 teachers were among educators at Arkansas Tech University at Russellville during the Project Lead the Way conferences.

PLTW is designed to enhance classroom instruction in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), according to a press release.

The conferences included a seminar in computer science June 26-30 available by a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education.

Participants included middle school teachers from districts in Pine Bluff, Star City, Alma, Beebe, Crossett, Fayetteville, Fountain Lake, Little Rock, North Little Rock, Pulaski County, Russellville, Smackover and Van Buren.

They gained training that will assist them in delivering computer science in elective classes and for the Arkansas coding block for seventh and eighth grade students.

Project Lead The Way is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S., according to the release.

“This hands-on, project-problem based instruction brings computer science to life for middle school students and shows them the real world applications that computer science can have,” said Vic Dreier, director of the ATU STEM Institute and PLTW state affiliate director. “These classes are designed to engage and empower our young people in the world of computer science and show them a future in the field.”