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Careers Conference. January 27, 2010. Learning the Engineering Design Process. Solving an open-ended problem. Building proficiency with a complex app. Working on a team to develop a solution. Using the internet to gather data. Preparing a portfolio of accomplishments.

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careers conference

Careers Conference

January 27, 2010


Learning the Engineering Design Process

  • Solving an open-ended problem
  • Building proficiency with a complex app.
  • Working on a team to develop a solution
  • Using the internet to gather data
  • Preparing a portfolio of accomplishments
pltw is the nation s leading provider of stem education
PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of STEM Education

Programs are dynamic, rigorousand emphasize creativity

Students are provided with a foundation anda proven path tocollege and career readiness


Programs offer students real world problem solving andcritical thinking skills

Students are highly engaged and exposed to typically non-pursued areas of study

clear focus and direction
Clear Focus and Direction



To ignite the spark of ingenuity, creativity and imagination within all of our students.

To ensure that America succeeds in the increasingly high-tech and high-skill global economy by partnering with middle schools and high schools to prepare students to be the most innovative and productive in the world.

continuous growth and achievement
Continuous Growth and Achievement

PLTW continues to grow at a compound annual rate greater than 20%

  • Founded by Dick Blais and Richard Liebich
  • Started in 11 schools in upstate New York
  • Today, PLTW serves 300,000 students
  • Adopted by districts in all 50 states

The Challenge

  • Raise Awareness
    • Improve college admissions in STEM programs
  • Increase Readiness
    • Enhance preparedness for college-level work
  • Improve Retention
    • Motivate STEM majors to complete their study

Core Goals

  • Ensure Adequate Resources
    • Raise $50M from partners by 2015
  • Support Growth
    • Implement in 10,000 schools by 2015
  • Maintain Quality
    • Sustain leading reputation w/ quality standards
the target student
The Target Student
  • Middle school or early high school
  • Shows an interest in STEM career fields
  • An aptitude for art and design concepts
  • Enjoys working with computers
  • Learns best with “hands-on” instruction
curriculum programs1
Curriculum Programs

Biomedical Sciences Program

  • High School: Biomedical Sciences
    • 4 courses

Engineering Programs

    • Middle School: Gateway To Technology
    • 6 units
    • High School: Pathway To Engineering
    • 8 courses
biomedical sciences program
Biomedical Sciences Program

Foundation Courses

  • Principles of the Biomedical Sciences
  • Human Body Systems
  • Medical Interventions

Capstone Course

  • Biomedical Innovation
biomedical sciences program1
Biomedical Sciences Program

Summary of Program Requirements

  • Schools must offer all four PLTW courses in sequence.
  • All PLTW courses require concurrent enrollment in college preparatory mathematics and science courses.
  • All PLTW courses are designed as year-long courses on a standard 45-50 minute schedule.
gateway to technology program
Gateway To Technology Program

Basic Units

  • Design and Modeling
  • Automation and Robotics
  • Energy and the Environment

Advanced Units

  • Flight and Space
  • Science of Technology
  • Magic of Electrons
gateway to technology program1
Gateway To Technology Program

Summary of Program Requirements

  • All GTT courses are designed as nine-week units
  • Schools may offer units from grades six, seven, or eight in a manner they determine reasonable and appropriate for their school
  • The minimum implementation is two units
  • Units may be offered as a science curriculum or as an elective offering
pathway to engineering program
Pathway to Engineering Program

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
pathway to engineering program1
Pathway to Engineering Program

Summary of Program Requirements

  • Schools must offer a minimum of four PLTW courses
    • The three foundation courses plus one additional
  • Concurrent enrollment in college preparatory mathematics is required
  • All courses are year-long courses
  • Schools may determine their own implementation sequence
professional development1
Professional Development

Counselors and Administrators

State Leaders and Affiliates


teacher professional development
Teacher Professional Development
  • Readiness Training
  • Core Training
  • Ongoing Training

readiness training

Designed to develop a baseline for all teachers prior to attending Core Training through the assessment of skill sets and delivery of any necessary remedial training.


core training

Lovingly referred to as PLTW’s “boot camp,” this intense training focuses on the PLTW teaching model and course content.


core training

Designed to empower teachers with the confidence, understanding, and knowledge necessary to teach the curriculum. A teacher is only able to teach a course after successful completion of Core Training.


ongoing training

Designed to provide additional training for teachers to further their understanding of related course tools, content, and concepts after the completion of Core Training.

engineering national affiliates


West Coast





Engineering National Affiliates
strategic business and philanthropic partners
Strategic Business and Philanthropic Partners






"PLTW is preparing students today to be the innovators of the future. For California to remain the innovation leader it is critical for our students to enter into the workforce pipeline that have not only math, science and engineering skills, but are also able to solve problems, work as a team and take risks. PLTW is a program that gives the students the tools they need to compete in the global marketplace.” - Michael Jacobsen, Intel Corporation

“PLTW’s track record of preparing students for college engineering programs is unparalleled.” - Jim Knotts, Lockheed Martin

“Project Lead The Way plays a vital role in recruiting middle and high school students into engineering fields by offering the resources and professional development needed to support a rigorous pre-engineering curriculum.” - Thomas H. Lane, American Chemical Society

The U.S. Department of Education recommends PLTW as “[A]n exemplary program for integrating rigorous and relevant STEM curricula and professional development and improving student achievement in mathematics, science, and English language arts.”

“PLTW is one of the most effective science, technology, engineering, and math programs in the country. We haven’t seen another program that engages students the way PLTW does.” - Jim Rahn, Kern Family Foundation

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called PLTW “[A] promising program that is both changing the lives of middle and high school students nationwide and helping to build a workforce that meets the needs of the 21st century.”

We endorsed PLTW because of the network’s “proven curricula and teacher training that allow schools to both improve technical education and excite students about careers in technology fields.” - Lawrence P. Farrell, National Defense Industry Association

“PLTW makes the connection between theory and practice that helps generate interest in math and science and increase overall academic performance.” - Dr. Ronald Bennett, Minnesota Center for Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence

  • Partnerships
    • Federal, State and Local
  • Purchasing Power
    • Equipment, Supplies and Software
  • Program Quality
    • School Certification
  • Assessment and Evaluation
    • Student, Course and Program
program implementation
Program Implementation
  • Gather information
  • Visit a PLTW school
  • Register with PLTW
  • Sign a network agreement
  • Select a District Delegate
  • Design an implementation plan
  • Select and train faculty
  • Recruit students
  • Procure equipment and materials
  • Form a partnership
program implementation in small and rural school districts
Program Implementation in Small and Rural School Districts

To put it in perspective:

  • Located in the Southwest corner of WI
  • Cover 5 Counties (100 miles X 100 miles).
  • Population:
  • 122,000 people
  • 147,000 pigs and piglets
  • 429,000 cattle and calves
  • 131,000 dairy cows
  • Average of six animals to every person
  • 7 School Districts in the Consortium

Largest: Platteville High School=476 students

Smallest: Argyle High School=116 students


Largest Metropolitan Area:

    • Platteville (9,989)
    • Prairie du Chien (6,022)
    • Richland Center (5,165)
  • Stoplights
    • Take a guess….

Each school could implement 2 classes

    • IED
    • POE
  • Add classes by integrating into existing classes
  • Initially we need to share equipment
    • Release of liability
  • Communications is key

Funding and Sustainability

    • Kern Family Foundation
    • Department of Workforce Development
    • Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board
    • Carl Perkins
      • 10% Grants
    • Wisconsin Chamber-Small School Grant
    • Local funding

What is working for us

    • STEMposium
    • PLTW Scholarship
    • Business partnership
    • PLTWposium
    • 4H Summer Gateway Academy
    • Newsletter
    • Business and Education Summit
    • Legislative Day

Join Us!

April 28th for Why STEM (for teachers)

4:30-8:00 in Platteville at the Governor Dodge Convention Center


April 29th for the STEMposium (for students/parents)

6:30-8:00 in Platteville at the Governor Dodge Convention Center






Is more likely to:

  • Have a firm career plan
  • Miss fewer days of school
  • Demonstrate higher achievement in math
  • Score higher on national assessments
  • Be more competitive for admissions
  • Pursue a STEM major in college

Steve Salter

Affiliate Director

Project Lead The Way – Wisconsin

Milwaukee School of Engineering

Darla Burton

Educational Consultant

Cooperative Educational Service Agency #3