What is Project Lead The Way?
Project Lead The Way® (PLTW) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes pre-engineering courses for middle and 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.
How did the program begin?
The PLTW curriculum was first introduced to 12 New York State high schools in the 1997 - 1998 school year. A year later, PLTW field tested four unit Middle School Program in three middle schools. Today, the programs are offered in over 1,300 schools in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Coming to Siouxland
Project Lead the Way began in Sioux City in 2007. From 77 students in its first year, to more than double in its second, the program is really catching on with the students as both fun and challenging. The curriculum is taught strictly based upon the guidelines of national PLTW for consistency. Students are taught to problem-solve, read, write and communicate verbally in a way that is understandable to those who are not in the engineering field. In addition, they are also are offered the opportunity to work hands-on in a team environment.
PLTW students are able to earn college credit while still in High School during the actual school year or through summer courses that are also offered through Western Iowa Tech Community College. This is beneficial for students who are late getting started or who are looking to fast track within the program.
Western Iowa Tech Community College offers two-year technical programs for students who look to earn an Associates degree in all areas of engineering. The Sioux City campus offers state of the art facilities and equipment to these students to achieve the highest level of exposure and opportunity in this course work.
As a business partner of the program, BPI has started a mentoring program and works directly with the Sioux City Schools to offer students access to their state of the art plant and corporate headquarters to job shadow, intern or tour the very highly innovative equipment and process that keeps Beef Products Inc. on the cutting edge of their industry.
Other surrounding schools, businesses and students are encouraged to investigate what coursework through the Project Lead the Way can mean for them in their future career choices and what opportunities might be made available to them in their home towns. There is more opportunity and a need for these engineering based programs that there are people to fill them. Project Lead the Way is looking to help local industry companies retain highly qualified and educated individuals to work the field of engineering, which is lacking not only in Siouxland, but across the country.
The opportunity starts HERE!
"Project Lead The Way gives high school students a head start that will serve them well through college and help them be competitive in the workforce."
~ Doyle Massey, Sioux City Community School District / PTLW Coordinator
"It's great to be able to hire qualified people from right here in Siouxland, and this program helps make that possible. Several of last year's students are now working for us as interns, and it's wonderful to have them."
~ Erlan Rice, BPI
"It's so important to be able to give students who have a passion for engineering a chance to shine. And employers are always looking for talented engineers."
~ Dr. Dunker, WITCC
"The students have access to the latest technology, and to mentors with great expertise and insight. They get hands on experience they can't get anywhere else."
~ Scott Eymer, KPTH
Get More information about PLTW in Siouxland:
Do you have questions or would you like to get involved in Project Lead the Way?