Project Lead the Way
About the Program
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the nation's leading provider of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs in K-12 schools. The world-class curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate and community partners, help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in our global economy. PLTW's success in preparing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed has been recognized by colleges and universities, Fortune 500 businesses, and numerous national organizations. The opportunities for students through PLTW are nothing short of amazing!
The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) will grow 17 percent by 2018—nearly double the growth for non-STEM fields. By 2018, the U.S. will have more than 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs because there will not be enough qualified workers to fill them. STEM is where jobs are today and where the job growth will be in the future.
Advantages for Students
Project Lead The Way offers a different approach to learning and teaching. Through activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum, PLTW gives students a chance to apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning. For teachers, the engaging, rigorous professional development model provides them with tools to empower students and transform the classroom into a collaboration space where content comes to life. Even for students who do not plan to pursue engineering or biomedical sciences after high school, the PLTW programs provide opportunities to develop highly transferable skills in collaboration, communication, and critical thinking, which are relevant for any coursework or career.
High School Pathways & Courses
PLTW Engineering is more than just another high school engineering program. Students apply engineering, science, math, and technology to solve complex, open-ended problems in a real-world context. Students focus on the process of defining and solving a problem, not getting the "right" answer. They learn how to apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to make the world a better place through innovation, using industry-leading technology and software, similar to what is used in the world's top companies. The challenging field of engineering comes alive with PLTW.
The PLTW Biomedical Sciences program is a sequence of courses following the hands-on, real-world, problem-solving approach to learning. Students explore the concepts of human medicine and are introduced to bioinformatics, including mapping and analyzing DNA. Through activities, like dissecting a heart, students examine the processes, structures and interactions of the human body, often playing the role of biomedical professionals to solve mysteries. Think CSI meets ER. They also explore the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease working collaboratively to investigate and design innovative solutions for the health challenges of the 21st century such as fighting cancer with nanotechnology.
The projected number of job openings in 2018 for STEM fields will reach 2.8 million. Of these, approximately 1.4 million jobs will be for computer specialists. The PLTW Computer Science program, which will be offered starting the fall of 2015, engages high school students in computational thinking and prepares a computationally aware and capable workforce. This program comprises introductory, foundation, and specialty courses.
Middle School Pathways & Courses
Middle School is the perfect time for students to explore and learn there is more than one way to reach a solution. PLTW's Gateway program provides engineering, biomedical science and computer science curriculum for middle school students that challenges, inspires, and offers schools variety and flexibility. They use industry-leading technology to solve problems while gaining skills in communication, collaboration, critical-thinking, and creativity (the Berrien Springs 4 C's!)
- Design and Modeling - 6th grade
- Medical Detectives - 7th grade
- Computer Science for Innovators and Makers - 7th grade
- Automation and Robotics - 8th grade
- App Creators - 8th grade
Elementary Pathways & Courses
Research shows that kids who experience STEM early through hands-on learning are the ones who will be best equipped to develop a strong understanding of STEM concepts as they get older. Engaging students at a young age builds confidence, grows interest, and puts them on course for strong accomplishments in middle school, high school, and beyond. Young children are naturally inquisitive. They like to ask, "Why?" PLTW's Launch program fosters young problem-solvers using structured approaches, like the engineering design process, to employ critical thinking. The most important aspect students learn is it's okay to take risks and make mistakes.
- Stability and Motion: Science of Flight - 3rd grade
- Stability and Motion: Forces and Interactions - 3rd grade
- Variation of Traits - 3rd grade
- Programming Patterns - 3rd grade
- Energy: Collisions - 4th grade
- Energy: Conversions - 4th grade
- Input/Output: Computer Systems - 4th grade
- Input/Output: Human Brain - 4th grade
- Robotics and Automation - 5th grade
- Robotics and Automation Challenge - 5th grade
- Infection: Detection - 5th grade
- Infection: Modeling and Simulation - 5th grade
- Structure and Function: Exploring Design - K
- Pushes and Pulls - K
- Structure and Function: Human Body - K
- Animals and Algorithms - K
- Light and Sound - 1st grade
- Light: Observing the Sun, Moon and Stars - 1st grade
- Animal Adaptations - 1st grade
- Animated Storytelling - 1st grade
- Materials Science: Form and Function - 2nd grade
- Materials Science: Properties of Matter - 2nd grade
- The Changing Earth - 2nd grade
- Grid and Games - 2nd grade
WNIT Education Counts Highlights BSPS PLTW Program
For more information regarding the PLTW program highlighted on WNIT's Education Counts program, please visit https://www.wnit.org/educationcounts/s/project-lead-the-way.html.
Biomedical and Engineering
District PLTW Coordinator
PH: (269) 473-0718