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Project Lead the Way

What is Project Lead The Way?

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes pre-engineering courses for high school students. PLTW forms partnerships with public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from our educational system. The PLTW staff, with the help of consultants and advice from both industry and staff from higher education institutions has developed a four-unit curriculum for middle schools, and a four-year (five-course) curriculum for high schools. 


Why is Project Lead The Way promoting engineering and engineering technology courses for high school students?

There is a critical shortage of engineers and engineering technologists entering the field at a time when technology is reinventing itself every few years. The number of job openings is increasing due to the expansion of jobs in the technical fields and the increasing numbers of engineers who are retiring.


What is the Mission of PLTW?
To forge a dynamic and on-going partnership among school districts, colleges and universities, and industry that will establish and support a pre-engineering education career cluster program in America's high schools, exciting students about engineering careers and strengthening traditional academic programs with hands-on learning experiences.


What are PLTW's Goals?

Project Lead The Way has the following stated goals:

Increase the number of young people who pursue engineering and engineering technology programs requiring a four or two-year college degree. Provide clear standards and expectations for student success in the program. Provide leadership and support that will produce continuous improvement and innovation in the program. Provide equitable and inclusive opportunities for all academically qualified students without regard to gender or ethnic origin. Reduce the future college attrition rates within four and two-year engineering and engineering technology degree programs. Contribute to the continuance of America's national prosperity.

What are the High School courses in the LBJ ECHS PLTW program?

There are 3 courses in the PLTW High School Pre-engineering Program, as follows:

Introduction to Engineering Design: A course that teaches problem-solving skills using a design development process for products. Models of product solutions are created, analyzed and communicated using solid modeling computer design software. In NYS, the course is called Design and Drawing for Production and follows the syllabus developed by the State Education Department.

Digital Electronics: A course in applied logic that encompasses the application of electronic circuits and devices. Computer simulation software is used to design and test digital circuitry prior to the actual construction of circuits and devices.

Principles of Engineering: A course that helps students understand the field of engineering/engineering technology. Exploring various technology systems and manufacturing processes helps students learn how engineers and technicians use math, science and technology in an engineering problem solving process to benefit people. The course also includes concerns about social and political consequences of technological change.



PLTW Engineering - Curriculum

In PLTW Engineering, students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same industry-leading technology and software as are used in the world's top companies. Students are immersed in design as they investigate topics such as sustainability, mechatronics, forces, structures, aerodynamics, digital electronics and circuit design, manufacturing, and the environment, which gives them an opportunity to learn about different engineering disciplines before beginning post-secondary education or careers.

Schools offer a minimum of three courses by the end of the third year of implementation: Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and any specialization course or the capstone course.

Foundation Courses

Introduction to Engineering Design (IED, 1 year)
Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work.

Principles of Engineering (POE, 1 year)
Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.
Specialization Courses

Digital Electronics (DE, 1 year)
From smart phones to appliances, digital circuits are all around us. This course provides a foundation for students who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Students study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices.


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