Project Lead the Way

What is Project Lead the Way?
Project Lead the Way, PLTW, partners with middle schools 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.

Inver Grove Heights Middle School is in its second year offering PLTW to its students. In seventh grade, students learn and study the Design Process. They build Air Racers, learn a CAD program called Inventor when they build a 3D model of a Pegboard toy and, finally, they design and build a Rube Goldberg Contraption.

Topics covered in seventh-grade include:
  • What is engineering?
  • The design process/measurement
  • Sketching and Dimensioning
  • Designing for production
  • Simple machines

As eighth-graders, students study Automation and Robotics. They learn about gears and gear ratios, and then work to write a computer program using Robo Pro. Students are challenged to solve a problem by building with Fischertechnik (similar to LEGOs) and wiring the machines to their computer program. Students make an automated sign, stop lights, swing bridges and an elevator.

Topics covered in eighth-grade include:
  • Nanotechnology
  • Engineering
  • Career exploration
  • What is robotics?
  • Mechanical systems
  • Automated systems

How is the program helping our students be successful?

The PLTW middle and high 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.
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