The Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program prepares students to be the most innovative and productive leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and to make meaningful, pioneering contributions to our world. PLTW partners with middle and high schools to provide a rigorous, relevant STEM education. Through an engaging, hands-on curriculum, PLTW encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning, and a love of learning. The PLTW middle school STEM education programs give students a brighter future by providing them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM-related fields. STEM education is at the heart of today’s high-tech, high-skill global economy. For America to remain economically competitive, our next generation of leaders must develop the critical-reasoning and problem-solving skills that will help make them the most productive in the world. PLTW sparks the ingenuity, creativity, and innovation within all of our students. Project Lead the Way integrates a variety of instructional methodologies including group activities, projects, problem based learning centers, and hands-on projects that have real world application. The curriculum makes math and science relevant and strives to help students understand how everyday skills they learn in the classroom may be applied in their future careers and lives. Students learn by using methods, adopting attitudes, and applying skills as scientist and engineers do when conducting research. Students are able to find their own problems and generate their own questions, formulate their own hypothesis, design and implement their own methods for testing their hypothesis by using data to answer their own original questions.

PLTW Units of Study

Design and Modeling: This unit uses solid modeling software (a sophisticated technique for representing solid objects) to introduce students to the design process. Utilizing this design approach, students understand how design influences their lives. Students also learn sketching techniques and use descriptive geometry as a component of design, measurement, and computer modeling. Students brainstorm, research, develop ideas, create models, test and evaluate design ideas, and communicate solutions.
Automation and Robotics: In this unit students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students acquire knowledge and skills through problem solving, team work, collaboration, and innovation.
Energy and the Environment: In this unit, students investigate the importance of energy in our lives and the impact that using energy has on the environment. They design and model alternative energy sources and participate in energy fairs to demonstrate energy concepts and innovative ideas. Students evaluate ways to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency and waste management technology. 

Course Scope and Sequence

Grade Unit Name Timeframe
4 Energy and the Environment 1 Marking Period
5 Design & Modeling I 1 Marking Period
6 Design & Modeling II 1 Marking Period
7 Automation & Robotics I 1 Marking Period
8 Automation & Robotics II 1 Marking Period