Inspiring and Empowering Students Through STEM: PROJECT LEAD THE WAY

Education That Transcends The Classroom

We create an engaging classroom environment while empowering students to develop and apply in-demand, transportable skills. With courses offered in computer science and engineering, students not only master technical skills, but also learn to solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate, and collaborate.

Project Lead The Way – Engineering

Engineering teaches students that real-world problems often have multiple solutions with many pathways to achieve success. With engaging courses like environmental sustainability, civil engineering and architecture, digital electronics, and aerospace engineering, you can empower your students to explore possibilities, experiment, learn from failure, and turn ideas into reality. PLTW Engineering encourages students to adopt a problem-solving mindset, engaging them in compelling, real-world challenges that help them become better collaborators and thinkers. Each PLTW Engineering course engages students in interdisciplinary activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, or exploring algae as a biofuel source. These activities not only build knowledge and skills in engineering, but also empower students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance.

PLTW Introduction to Engineering Design (IED): The major focus of this Project Lead the Way course is learning how to take an idea through a design process and create a 3-dimensional part that can be manufactured or produced. Students learn about various aspects of engineering and engineering design, such as how engineers communicate through sketches and drawings. Students apply learned material through lessons that increase the difficulty of projects. Students use Inventor, a software package from AutoDesk, to help design parts on a 2-dimensional computer screen. Projects are documented in an engineering notebook which allows students to communicate solutions with others. On occasions, students will be assigned an individual project to create a 3-dimensional part and then print it on a 3-dimensional printer. Students wishing to receive honors grade/credit will be required to complete more complex projects.

PLTW Introduction to Engineering Design (IED): The major focus of this Project Lead the Way course is learning how to take an idea through a design process and create a 3-dimensional part that can be manufactured or produced. Students learn about various aspects of engineering and engineering design, such as how engineers communicate through sketches and drawings. Students apply learned material through lessons that increase the difficulty of projects. Students use Inventor, a software package from AutoDesk, to help design parts on a 2-dimensional computer screen. Projects are documented in an engineering notebook which allows students to communicate solutions with others. On occasions, students will be assigned an individual project to create a 3-dimensional part and then print it on a 3-dimensional printer. Students wishing to receive honors grade/credit will be required to complete more complex projects.

Project Lead The Way –  Computer Science

Computer Science empowers students to become creators, instead of merely consumers, of the technology around them. Courses cover topics beyond coding, including app development, simulation, and cybersecurity. Throughout the courses, students collaborate to design solutions to real-world challenges, while practicing ethical reasoning. Our computer science teachers instill in-demand knowledge and skills students will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take. Our current AP Computer Science course (2022-2023) is aligned with the State of Wisconsin and College Board, but beginning in 2023 our course will fully move to PLTW standards.

PLTW AP Computer Science Principles: Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Computer Science Principles helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, and simulation. PLTW is recognized by the College Board as an endorsed provider of curriculum and professional development for AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). This endorsement affirms that all components of PLTW CSP’s offerings are aligned to the AP Curriculum Framework standards and the AP CSP assessment.

Gateway Middle School Offerings – Grades 7 & 8

Through explorations of coding and robotics, and flight and space, PLTW Gateway fuels students’ passion for discovery. As they engage in hands-on, collaborative problem solving focused on real-world challenges, students use and stretch their imaginations in brand-new ways and connect their learning to life. Students step into roles spanning the career landscape – a crucial experience during this transitional time in their lives. Our goal through PLTW is to ensure that more middle school students have equal access and opportunities to engage in hands-on learning through STEM challenges.

PLTW Engineering Explorations: This course guides middle school students through a full spectrum investigation of engineering; including the different types of engineering, career paths, and the basics of engineering. Students develop a basic understanding of each area of engineering; civil, mechanical, chemical, and biological.

PLTW Design and Modeling: Students discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They are then challenged and empowered to use and apply what they’ve learned throughout the unit to design a therapeutic toy for a child who has cerebral palsy.

PLTW Flight and Space: The exciting world of aerospace comes alive through the Flight and Space (FS) unit. Students become engineers as they design, prototype, and test models to learn about the science of flight and what it takes to travel and live in space. They solve real-world aviation and space challenges and plan a mission to Mars.