The Three Elements of PLTW Coursework - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

The Three Elements of PLTW Coursework


High School Program:
Pathway to EngineeringTM

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) offers a dynamic high school program that provides students with real-world learning and hands-on experience. Students interested in engineering, biomechanics, aeronautics, and other applied math and science arenas will discover PLTW is an exciting portal into these industries.

The Applied Knowledge of Pathway To EngineeringTM

PLTW's premier high school program, Pathway To EngineeringTM, is a four-year course of study integrated into the students' core curriculum. The combination of traditional math and science courses with innovative Pathway To Engineering courses prepares students for college majors in engineering and E/T fields and offers them the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.

Pathway To EngineeringTM 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
  • Learn outside the classroom

The Logic Skills behind the Three-Tiered Approach

Logical thought processes are built through APPB learning experiences in the program's three-tiered approach to coursework.  

Tier One: Foundation

  • Introduction to Engineering DesignTM-uses a design development process while enriching problem­solving skills; students create and analyze models using specialized computer software.
  • Principles Of EngineeringTM-explores technology systems and manufacturing processes; addresses the social and political consequences of technological change.
  • Digital ElectronicsTM-teaches applied logic through work with electronic circuitry, which students also construct and test for functionality.

Tier Two: Specialization Courses

  • Aerospace EngineeringTM-expands horizons with Projects developed with NASA- aerodynamics, astronautics, space-life sciences, and systems engineering.
  • Biotechnical EngineeringTM-hones more advanced skills in biology, physics, technology, and mathematics and applies them to real-world biotech fields.
  • Civil Engineering and ArchitectureTM-introduces students to the interdependent fields of civil engineering and architecture; students learn project planning, site planning, and building design.
  • Computer Integrated ManufacturingTM-enhances computer modeling skills by applying principles of robotics and automation to the creation of models of three-dimensional designs.

Tier Three: Capstone Course

Engineering Design and DevelopmentTM is a research course that requires students to formulate the solution to an open-ended engineering question. With a community mentor and skills gained in their previous courses, students create written reports on their applications, defend the reports, and submit them to a panel of outside reviewers at the end of the school year.

Endless Possibilities

High school students involved in PLTW strive to complete a minimum of the three foundation courses, one specialization course, and the capstone course. The Pathway To Engineering system works in any standard four-year sequence and prepares students for two- or four-year college studies in engineering and E/T by exposing them to the true scope of the field. Most courses can earn course credit at accredited colleges and universities.

No matter where students pursue their collegiate training in engineering, Project Lead The Way provides an excellent foundation for addressing and implementing real solutions to real problems with contemporary technology and applied logic.

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