Project Lead The Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a non-profit organization that provides middle school and high school students with hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities, problem-based learning techniques, cutting edge equipment and the opportunity to meet professionals working in local STEM fields. Starting in the fall of 2014, PLTW will also offer an elementary school curriculum.
The PLTW curriculum, created by PLTW teachers, university professors and engineering and biomedical professionals, promotes STEM and is delivered through PLTW’s Virtual Academy to classrooms across the country. PLTW invigorates and prepares students for today’s high-tech, high-skill global economy.
More than 5,200 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW courses to over 500,000 students. PLTW trains more than 3,500 teachers each year, providing them with ongoing professional development and the skills and pedagogy needed to teach each PLTW courses. PLTW offers multiple programs that supplement existing math and science curriculums, including:
High School Level
Pathway To Engineering (PTE) is a sequence of courses that provides students with a track for success, whether they are interested in learning about engineering, have decided to pursue it as a career or simply want to learn to think critically, work collaboratively and explore how math and science work in everyday life. Students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same industry-leading technology and software as the world’s top companies.
They investigate topics such as aerodynamics and astronautics, biological engineering and sustainability, and digital electronics and circuit design, giving them an opportunity to learn about various engineering disciplines before beginning post-secondary education or careers. PTE courses include:
- Introduction to Engineering Design (Foundation Course)
- Principles Of Engineering (Foundation Course)
- Aerospace Engineering (Specialization Course)
- Biological Engineering (Specialization Course)
- Civil Engineering and Architecture (Specialization Course)
- Computer Integrated Manufacturing (Specialization Course)
- Digital Electronics (Specialization Course)
- Engineering Design and Development (Capstone Course)
The Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program is a rigorous and relevant four-course sequence that allows students to play the roles of biomedical professionals as they investigate and study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology and public health. Students engage in activities like investigating the death of a fictional person or dissecting a sheep’s heart, to learn content in the context of real-world cases. They examine the structures and interactions of the human body and explore the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, all while working collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges of today and the future. BMS courses include:
- Principles of the Biomedical Sciences (Foundation Course)
- Human Body Systems (Foundation Course)
- Medical Interventions (Foundation Course)
- Biomedical Innovation (Capstone Course)
Middle School Level
The Gateway To Technology (GTT) program provides a strong foundation for further STEM learning in high school and beyond, challenging students to solve real-world problems like cleaning oil spills and designing sustainable housing solutions. Through topics like robotics, flight and space, and DNA and crime scene analysis, students will find their natural curiosity and imagination engaged in creative problem solving. Using the same advanced software and tools as the world’s leading companies, students see the application of math, science, technology and engineering to their everyday lives. GTT units include:
- Automation and Robotics (Foundation Course)
- Design and Modeling (Foundation Course)
- Energy and the Environment (Specialization Course)
- Flight and Space (Specialization Course)
- Green Architecture (Specialization Course)
- Magic of Electrons (Specialization Course)
- Science of Technology (Specialization Course)
- Medical Detectives (Specialization Course)
Elementary School Level
Piloting during the 2013-14 school year; Open enrollment begins in fall 2013 for the 2014-15 school year.
Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. PLTW’s elementary program is designed to capture students’ interest in math and science, and spark a lifelong passion. Students use touch technology, robotics and everyday materials to explore topics such as energy, light and sound, motion and stability, and gravity. Design problems encourage collaboration, analysis, problem solving, and computational thinking.