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- National PLTW
PLTW is a national program forming partnerships among public schools, higher education institutions, and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from the country's educational systems.
The program offers a hands-on, project-based approach to learning that better prepares students for the rigors of college. The program incorporates Math, Science, English, and Technology skills needed for success.
Taking PLTW courses can help students decide whether an engineering-related career is or is not right for them. In addition, students from PLTW-certified schools may, if they meet the requirements, apply for Missouri S&T college credit for some of these courses.
"Could I be an engineer? I'm not a genius."
-With all the interesting jobs available in the technology world, why is it so hard to get students excited? Throw out stereotypes. The days of the pocket-protector-wearing engineer are gone. In fact, today you'll rarely see an engineer in a suit, slides rules are non-existent, and communication skills are just as important as math skills. The problem is that few students understand what engineers really do. But PLTW's hands-on curriculum gives students a taste of the variety, creativity, teamwork, and possibilities engineering fields can offer.
"What exactly does an engineer do?"
-Students know what a doctor does because they see doctors at work in everyday life. But what about engineers? This lack of knowledge makes engineering careers less appealing to students, who might never think of the medical, environmental, manufacturing, research, design, or computer applications of engineering.
"So, who can be an engineer?"
-According to PLTW research, students who go on to be successful engineers and technical workers are not necessarily the best math or science students, nor do they have a consuming passion for computers and all things technological. The "formula" is much more basic, with the keys to success including early exposure and practical pre-college application. And PLTW's teacher training program and no-cost curricula take the worry out of teaching students the basics of engineering.
Engineering Reality Check
|Engineers Now||Engineers Then|
|"A"/"B" Students||"A" Students|
|Computer Simulations||Slide Rules/Calculators|
|Team-based Projects||Individual Projects|
|In Demand||In Demand|
|High Salaries, Great Benefits||High Salaries, Great Benefits|
|Wide-range of Specialties: Industrial, packaging, "imagineer"||Few Specialties: Civil, Mechanical, Electrical|