Project Lead The Way Program Descriptions
PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. PLTW’s five programs are collaboratively developed and consistently reviewed and improved by PLTW staff, teachers, university educators, industry experts, and school administrators. The programs include PLTW Launch (grades K-5), PLTW Gateway (middle school), PLTW Engineering (high school), PLTW Biomedical Science (high school), and PLTW Computer Science (high school). PLTW courses are aligned with Common Core State Standards in Math and English Language Arts, Next Generation Science Standards, and other national and state standards. Courses are designed to complement math and science courses offered by a school and in some instances are used as the core curriculum.
For more detailed information, including program videos, course descriptions, and course outlines visit https://www.pltw.org/our-programs.
Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. PLTW Launch is designed for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to capture their interest in and spark a lifelong passion for math and science. Through a series of topic-based modules, students engage in design problems that encourage collaboration, analysis, problem solving, and computational thinking. They use touch technology, robotics, and everyday materials to explore topics such as energy, light and sound, motion and stability, and gravity. Students apply the design process to sketch, build, and reflect on a new paintbrush design or use VEX IQ robotics components to develop an animal rescue device. With Launch, students will leave elementary school with a passion for and confidence in the STEM subjects, ready to continue their learning in middle school, high school, and beyond. There are 24 ten-hour modules of curiculum: 12 engineering and 12 computer science or biomedical science.
PLTW Gateway for Middle School
Middle school is the perfect time for students to explore and learn that there is more than one way to reach a solution. PLTW Gateway provides engineering, biomedical science, and computer science curriculum for middle school students that challenges, inspires, and offers schools variety and flexibility. Students get rigorous and relevant experiences through activity-, project-, and problem-based learning. They use industry-leading technology to solve problems while gaining skills in communication, collaboration, critical-thinking, and creativity. There are 10 nine-week units of curriculum in engineering, computer science, and biomedical sciences, typically offered as electives.
PLTW High School Pathways
Whether a student is curious to understand more about engineering, has decided to pursue it as a career, or simply wants to learn to think critically, work collaboratively, and explore how math and science work in his or her everyday life, the PLTW Engineering program provides a track for success. Students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and develop vital skills such as teamwork, communication, and critical thinking. While investigating topics such as aerodynamics and astronautics, biological engineering and sustainability, and digital electronics and circuit design, students use the same industry-leading technology and software as the world’s top companies. In the capstone course, students have the opportunity to identify a problem they are passionate about solving and develop a solution using the engineering design process. The exciting and challenging fields of engineering come alive in the PLTW Engineering program, which is designed to prepare students for careers or post-secondary study of STEM fields.
PLTW Biomedical Science
Students play the roles of biomedical professionals as they investigate and study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. In the PLTW Biomedical Science program, students engage in activities like investigating the death of a fictional person or dissecting a sheep’s heart, learning content in the context of real-world cases. They examine the structures and interactions of human body systems and explore the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Students work collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges. The future of the biomedical sciences comes alive in this rigorous and relevant four-course sequence that prepares students to continue their studies through post-secondary education and careers.
PLTW Computer Science
The imperative to increase our national talent pool in computer science and software engineering is clear. In fact, the number of job openings projected in 2018 for STEM fields will reach 2.8 million, and approximately half of these will be for computer specialists. To reverse this trend, build student interest and engagement in computer science, and prepare more students for great career opportunities requiring computational thinking, PLTW offers a four-year computer science pathway for high school students.
For more detailed information, visit https://www.pltw.org/our-programs.