Project Lead the Way: Pathway to Engineering

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. Project Lead The Way® (PLTW) has created a special series of courses that are incorporated into the middle school and high school years. These courses complement math and science college preparatory programs to establish a solid background in engineering and technology. Two sets of curricula and courses are available to school districts: Gateway to Technology (for middle school) and Pathway to Engineering (for high school).

Middle School: Gateway to Technology

Gateway to Technology is an activity-oriented middle school curriculum—a program designed to help students in grades six through eight explore math, science, and technology. There are five independent, nine-week units; schools are expected to offer a minimum of two units. Most schools elect to offer four or more of the following:

  • Design and Modeling
  • The Magic of Electrons
  • The Science of Technology
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Flight and Space

These courses can be spread over three school years or condensed into the eighth grade academic year. Middle school students are naturally curious, and these units are designed to challenge and engage young minds in exciting activities.

High School: Pathway to Engineering

The structured yet flexible high school program offers students in-depth, hands-on knowledge of engineering and technology-based careers. The three-tiered approach to learning flows from foundation courses to specialization courses to a capstone course.

Pathway to Engineering's three tiers:

Foundation Courses:

  • Introduction to Engineering Design
  • Principles of Engineering
  • Digital Electronics

Specialization Courses:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Biotechnical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing

Capstone Course:

Engineering Design and Development This curriculum prepares students for demanding two- and four-year college engineering programs.

College Credit for High School Students

College credit is available for seven of the eight high school courses, the exception being Engineering Design and Development. Students and schools must meet certain qualifications to be awarded college credit.

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