Project Lead The Way (PLTW) offers dynamic K-12 programs that provides students with real-world learning and hands-on experience. Students interested in engineering, biomedical science, computer science, and other applied math and science arenas will discover PLTW is an exciting portal into these industries.  PLTW’s premier high school programs, Engineering, Biomedical Science and Computer Science, are four-year courses of study integrated into the students’ core curriculum. The combination of traditional math and science courses with innovative PLTW courses prepares students for college majors in engineering, engineering technology, biomedical science and computer science fields and offers them the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.

High School PLTW courses engage high school students through a combination of activities-based, project-based, and problem-based (APPB) learning. APPB learning not only creates an environment for applying engineering concepts to real problems, but also prepares students to solve problems, participate as part of a team, lead teams, speak to a public audience, conduct research, understand real-world impacts, analyze data, and learn outside the classroom.

However, students do not have to wait until high school to begin this incredible journey. PLTW begins in kindergarten (called Launch) with four modules related to engineering, biomedical science and computer science through fifth grade. Students continue experiencing APPB in middle school PLTW Gateway with nine week exploratory experiences in the same subjets.



Engineering Courses:

Introduction to Engineering Design - A course that teaches problem-solving skills using a design development process. Models of product solutions are created, analyzed, and communicated using solid modeling computer-design software
  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 is a hands-on, laboratory-based experience that provides access to tools, machines, and materials for individual and small group projects.
Computer Integrated Manufacturing - A course that applies principles of robotics and automation. The course builds on computer solid modeling skills developed in Introduction to Engineering Design. Students use CNC equipment to produce actual models of their three-dimensional designs. Fundamental concepts of robotics used in automated manufacturing and design analysis are included.
Civil Engineering and Architecture - This course provides an overview of the fields of civil engineering and architecture, while emphasizing the interrelationship and dependence of both fields on each other. Students use state-of-the-art software to solve real-world problems and communicate solutions to hands-on projects and activities. This course covers topics such as project planning, site planning, building design, documentation, and presentation.

Engineering Design and Development - An engineering research course in which students work in teams to research, design, and construct a solution to an open-ended engineering problem. Students apply principles developed in the four preceding courses. They must present progress reports, submit a final written report, and defend their solutions to a panel of outside reviewers.

 Aerospace rocket testing Aerospace Engineering - The Aerospace Engineering curriculum introduces students to the world of aeronautics, flight, and engineering.
  Biotechnical Engineering - Biotechnical Engineering applies and develops secondary level knowledge and skills in biology, physics, technology, and mathematics. It will include experiences from the diverse fields of bio-technology, bio-engineering, bio-medical engineering, and bio-molecular engineering.
  Digital Electronics - Teaches applied logic through work with electronic circuitry, which students also construct and test for functionality.


Biomedical Courses:

Principles of Biomedical Sciences (PBS) Student work involves the study of human medicine, research processes, an introduction to bioinformatics, and the use of computer science, mathematics, and information theory to model and analyze biological systems. Students investigate the human body systems and various health conditions including: heart disease, diabetes, sickle-cell disease, hypercholesterolemia, and infectious diseases. They determine the factors that led to the death of a fictional person, and investigate lifestyle choices and medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. Key biological concepts including homeostasis, metabolism, inheritance of traits, feedback systems, and defense against disease are embedded in the curriculum. Engineering principles including the design process, feedback loops, and the relationship of structure to function are incorporated in the curriculum. This course is designed to provide an overview of all the courses in the Biomedical Sciences program and lay the scientific foundation for subsequent courses.
Human Body Systems (HBS) Students engage in the study of the processes, structures, and interactions of the human body systems. Important concepts in the course include: communication, transport of substances, locomotion, metabolic processes, defense, and protection. The central theme is how the body systems work together to maintain homeostasis and good health. The systems are studied as “parts of a whole,” working together to keep the amazing human machine functioning at an optimal level. Students design experiments, investigate the structures and functions of body systems, and use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary actions, and respiratory operation. Students work through interesting real-world cases and play the role of biomedical professionals to solve medical mysteries.
Medical Interventions (MI) Students investigate a variety of interventions involved in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease as they follow the lives of a fictitious family. The course is a “How-To” manual for maintaining overall health and homeostasis in the body as students explore how to prevent and fight infection; how to screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; how to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer; and how to prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. These scenarios expose students to the wide range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics. Each family case scenario introduces multiple types of interventions and reinforces concepts learned in the previous two courses, as well as presenting new content. Interventions may range from simple diagnostic tests to treatment of complex diseases and disorders. These interventions are showcased across generations of a family and provide a look at the past, present, and future of biomedical sciences. Lifestyle choices and preventive measures are emphasized throughout the course as are the important roles scientific thinking and engineering design play in the development of interventions of the future.


Middle School Courses:

The middle school program, Gateway to Technology, is a math, science, and technology exploratory program consisting of nine-week independent units taught in grades 6-8. Each school decides how it wishes to offer a minimum of four units in these grades. In most schools, all students participate in the program. The units are:

  • Design and Modeling
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Introduction to Computer Science 1
  • Introduction to Computer Science 2
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Flight and Space
  • The Science of Technology
  • The Magic of Electrons
  • Green Architecture
  • Medical Detectives