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BHS Special Interest Organizations » Project Lead the Way

Project Lead the Way

PLTW - Pathways to Engineering

The High School Engineering Program is a four year sequence of courses which, when combined with traditional mathematics and science courses in high school, introduces students to the scope, rigor and discipline of engineering prior to entering college. Each PLTW Engineering course engages students in interdisciplinary activities. 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.
Introduction to Design -
A course that teaches problem-solving skills using a design development process. Models of product solutions are created, analyzed and communicated using solid modeling computer design software. Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects like designing a new toy or improving an existing product.
Honors Principles of Engineering -
A course that helps students understand the field of engineering/engineering technology. Exploring various technology systems and manufacturing processes help students learn how engineers and technicians use math, science and technology in an engineering problem solving process to benefit people. The course also includes concerns about social and political consequences of technological change. Students explore a broad range of engineering topics including mechanisms, strength of structure and materials, and automation, and then they apply what they know to take on challenges like designing a self-powered car.
Honors Digital Electronics -
A course in applied logic that encompasses the application of electronic circuits and devices. Computer simulation software is used to design and test digital circuitry prior to the actual construction of circuits and devices. Students explore the foundations of computing by engaging in circuit design processes to create combinational logic and sequential logic (memory) as electrical engineers do in industry.

AP Computer Science Principles -

The program’s interdisciplinary courses engage students in compelling, real-world challenges. As students work together to design solutions, they learn computational thinking – not just how to code – and become better thinkers and communicators. Using Python® as a primary tool, students develop computational-thinking skills and tackle challenges like designing apps to solve real-world problems for clients. 
Honors Aerospace Engineering -
The Aerospace Engineering curriculum is a systematic curriculum package that will introduce students to the world of aeronautics, flight, and engineering. Students explore the physics of flight and bring what they’re learning to life through hands-on projects like designing a glider and creating a program for an autonomous space rover.


Key Findings!

Seventy-nine percent of PLTW students completed four years of college-preparatory mathematics, and 63 percent completed four years of college-preparatory science. When PLTW students who completed higher-level mathematics and science courses are compared to students who did not, significant differences in achievement were evident. Those completing the mathematics curriculum had a mean score 23 points higher than other students, and those completing the science curriculum had a mean score 15 points higher.


  When PLTW students are compared to similar students from comparable career/technical fields, PLTW students have significantly higher achievement in mathematics on a NAEP-referenced assessment. 

  When PLTW students are compared to similar students across all career/technical fields, PLTW students have significantly higher achievement in reading, mathematics and science on a NAE-Preferenced assessment. 

  When PLTW students are compared to similar students in comparable fields of study and to similar students drawn from all career/technical fields, PLTW students complete significantly more higher-level mathematics and science courses. 

  Significantly more PLTW students were enrolled in classes that engage them in reading and writing across the curriculum; and in using real-world problems, technology and group work to advance mathematics and science achievement. 

  Significantly more PLTW students experience career/technical classes that required students to use academic knowledge and skills to complete project assignments.


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