Middle School - Gateway To Technology (GTT) Courses:
Design & Modeling
Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They work in teams to design a playground and furniture, capturing research and ideas in their engineering notebooks. Using Autodesk® design software, students create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their innovative solutions.
Automation & Robotics
Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics® platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms.
Today’s students have grown up in an age of “green” choices. In this unit, students learn how to apply this concept to the fields of architecture and construction by exploring dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability as they design affordable housing units using Autodesk’s® 3D architectural design software.
Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.
High School Courses:
PLTW Engineering, students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same industry-leading technology and software as are used in the world’s top companies. Students are immersed in design as they investigate topics such as sustainability, mechatronics, forces, structures, aerodynamics, digital electronics and circuit design, manufacturing, and the environment, which gives them an opportunity to learn about different engineering disciplines before beginning post-secondary education or careers.
Schools offer a minimum of three courses by the end of the third year of implementation: Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and any specialization course or the capstone course.
Introduction to Engineering Design (IED, 1 year)
Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work.
Principles of Engineering (POE, 1 year)
Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.
Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA, 1 year)
Students learn important aspects of building and site design and development. They apply math, science, and standard engineering practices to design both residential and commercial projects and document their work using 3D architecture design software.
Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE, 1 year)
Open doors in any career with computer science! In CSE, students create apps for mobile devices, automate tasks in a variety of languages, and find patterns in data. Students collaborate to create and present solutions that can improve people’s lives, and weigh the ethical and societal issues of how computing and connectivity are changing the world. This course aligns with the AP Computer Science Principles course.
*CSE is also the first course in PLTW's Computer Science program. Students will be able to count CSE as both the third course of PLTW Engineering and the first course of PLTW Computer Science if they decide to pursue and complete two programs of study.
Digital Electronics (DE, 1 year)
From smart phones to appliances, digital circuits are all around us. This course provides a foundation for students who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Students study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices.
Aerospace engineering transforms the dream of flight into vehicles that ignite our imagination. Students explore fundamentals of flight in air and space through software simulations and hands-on experiences. Students learn how these concepts apply to a career in aerospace engineering and to other engineering fields. Where can aerospace engineering take us next?
Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Manufacturing transforms ideas into products. This course provides an opportunity for students to develop a better understanding of this innovative and exciting industry. Students learn about manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation. Students develop their knowledge and skills of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing to produce products using a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) mill. Students apply the knowledge and skills gained in this course as they collaborate to design, build, and program factory system models. Manufacturing provides products we use daily. How can a student become part of it?
Engineering Design & Development - Capstone
The knowledge and skills students acquire throughout PLTW Engineering come together in EDD as they identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their solution to a panel of engineers. Students apply the professional skills they have developed to document a design process to standards, ready to take on any post-secondary program or career.
The rigorous and relevant four-course PLTW Biomedical Science sequence allows students to investigate the roles of biomedical professionals as they study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. Students engage in activities like investigating the death of a fictional person to learn content in the context of real-world cases. They examine the structures and interactions of human body systems and explore the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, all while working collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges of today and the future.
Each course in the Biomedical Science sequence builds on the skills and knowledge students gain in the preceding courses. Schools offer the three PLTW Biomedical Science foundation courses within a period of three academic years from the start of implementation and may also offer the capstone course.
Principles of Biomedical Science
In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems.
Human Body Systems
Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration; and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases.
Students follow the life of a fictitious family as they investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Students explore how to detect and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; evaluate cancer treatment options; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through real-world cases, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics.