Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a hands-on program related to the real world of engineering for students and is continuing to grow in schools across the nation. The College Community School District is one of the schools that encourages students to participate in this program. The district implemented the program in 2005 and in 2007, more instructors were trained to teach these elective classes. College Community offers this program for students at Prairie Point and Prairie High School. PLTW at Point lead by Donald Haag and the high school the program is lead by Charles Miller and Jessica Wilcox.
Project Lead The Way classes are year-long elective engineering classes that provide our students with a hands-on learning environment and the opportunity to earn college credit. There is an end of course exam and student need to meet a certain score to qualify for college credit.
Prairie offers one PLTW class at Point, Intro to Engineering Design and four at the high school which includes Intro to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Environmental Sustainability and Digital Electronics.
Intro to Engineering Design is the class that is offered to both schools. In this , class students learn to use the engineering design process, learn engineering standards and work individually and in a group to problem solve various problems in engineering.
At Prairie High School, Principles of Engineering students are exposed to a variety of problem solving opportunities. These opportunities allow students to enhance their skills in engineering, problem solving, research, design, documentation and collaboration skills.
Environmental Sustainability investigates real world challenges related to our environments such as clean water, food supply and renewable energy. Students propose solutions to these problems through different designs that help the environment using hands on simulations or activities.
Digital Electronics provides a great, real world experience for those with interests in electronics beyond the normal uses because of the different technology all around us. In this class, students study foundations of logic, circuit design and electronics in the engineering world.
All of these classes allow students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers. Additionally, the classes create an engaging classroom environment unlike any other programs.
“Project Lead the Way provides a hands on experience for students to learn real world applications in the field of engineering,” said Haag. “Students also have the opportunity to earn college credit starting as a ninth grader.”
Students learn technical skills along with the 21st century skills the real world looks for like problem solving, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. No matter what path the students take in their future, the skills they learn can be applied to whatever they choose.