Project Lead the Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the U.S.
The first course you should take is Introduction to Engineering Design (IED).This course is written for 9th or 10th grade students and applies select principles and concepts learned in geometry and physical science classes. IED satisfies the basic technology education requirement for graduation.
Principles of Engineering is the second course you should take if you are interested in science, technology, and engineering. Designed for 10th or 11th grade students, this survey course exposes students to major concepts they’ll encounter in a post-secondary engineering course of study. Topics include mechanisms, energy, statics, materials, and kinematics. They develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to various challenges, document their work and communicate solutions.
The next three courses are:
- Digital Electronics can be taken concurrently with POE or after POE.
- Civil Engineering and Architecture can be taken concurrently with POE or after POE.
- Engineering Design and Development is the capstone course taken senior year.
Need more information?
Contact Brendan Lees, Project Lead the Way Engineering Program Coordinator.
Engineers Without Borders
Mr. Lees also runs the Engineers Without Borders club for students who want to explore real world design challenges in a fun and collaborative environment. In the past students have connected with the EWB program at the University of Maryland and worked on solving global challenges that impact human life. Students are currently exploring design challenges and competitions and designing and building solutions to different problems.
Program Completion Requirements
First Course: Introduction to Engineering Design
Designed for 9th or 10th grade students, the major focus of IED is the design process and its application. Through hands-on projects, students apply engineering standards and document their work. Students use industry standard 3D modeling software to help them design solutions to solve proposed problems, document their work using an engineer’s notebook, and communicate solutions to peers and members of the professional community.
Second Course: Principles of Engineering
Designed for 10th or 11th grade students, this survey course exposes students to major concepts they’ll encounter in a post-secondary engineering course of study. Topics include mechanisms, energy, statics, materials, and kinematics. They develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to various challenges, document their work and communicate solutions.
Digital Electronics (junior or senior year)
This course is the study of electronic circuits that are used to process and control digital signals. Digital electronics is the foundation of all modern electronic devices such as cellular phones, MP3 players, laptop computers, digital cameras and high-definition televisions. The major focus of the DE course is to expose students to the process of combinational and sequential logic design, teamwork, communication methods, engineering standards and technical documentation. This course is designed for 10th or 11th grade students.
Civil Engineering and Architecture (junior or senior year)
The major focus of this course is completing long-term projects that involve the development of urban planning and property design. As students learn about various aspects of civil engineering and architecture, they apply what they learn to the design and development of a property. The course provides teachers and students freedom to develop the property as a simulation or for students to model the experiences that civil engineers and architects face. Students work in teams, exploring hands-on activities and projects to learn the characteristics of civil engineering and architecture. In addition, students use 3D design software to help them design solutions to solve major course projects. Students learn about documenting their project, solving problems and communicating their solutions to their peers and members of the professional community of civil engineering and architecture. This course is designed for 11th or 12th grade students.
Engineering Design and Development (Senior Year)
This capstone course allows students to design a solution to a technical problem of their choosing. They have the chance to eliminate one of the “Don’t you hate it when…” statements of the world. This is an engineering research course in which students will work in teams to research, design, test and construct a solution to an open-ended engineering problem. The product development life cycle and a design process are used to guide and help the team to reach a solution to the problem. The team presents and defends their solution to a panel of outside reviewers at the conclusion of the course. The EDD course allows students to apply all the skills and knowledge learned in previous Project Lead The Way courses. The use of 3D design software helps students design solutions to the problem their team has chosen. This course also engages students in time management and teamwork skills, a valuable set for students in the future. This course is designed for 12th grade students.