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McPherson Magnet Celebrates its Project Lead the Way Distinguished School Status for their STEM Program

Orange, CA – March 27, 2019 – McPherson Magnet School celebrated its Project Lead the Way Distinguished school status for both their elementary (Launch) and secondary (Gateway) programs. McPherson is one of four schools in the entire county to achieve distinguished school status for the elementary program and they are the only school in the county to receive the designation for the middle school program. You can view a complete list of the recognized schools on the Project Lead the Way website:

At the recognition ceremony, students in Grades 3 through 8 explained their love of the Project Lead the Way STEM program. Third-grade student Lily Mastroianni detailed her creation of simple machines in the STEM Lab. Seventh-grade student Kaylin Griffis explained that she created an app that allows students with disabilities to access reading and mathematics materials. Eighth grader Ally DeMoss told the school about her favorite project in her medical detectives course, which involved growing E-Coli bacteria and then determining which antibiotics work best to kill the bacteria. Fifth-grade student Trey Esperanza said it best, “PLTW makes learning fun because we are building and learning by doing.”

McPherson Magnet has received the Distinguished School status due to Project Lead the Way STEM program access for all students. PLTW empowers students to adopt a design-thinking mindset through compelling activities, projects, and problems that build upon each other and relate to the world around them.  As students engage in hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, they become creative, collaborative problem solvers ready to take on any challenge.

McPherson Magnet will be hosting a showcase event in conjunction with Project Lead the Way for interested school personnel, community partners and county leaders on May 1. For more information, please contact McPherson Principal Joe Erven at

McPherson Magnet is a K-8 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Magnet Program in the Orange Unified School District. To get information about McPherson, please visit or follow them on Twitter @mcphersonmagnet.



The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.