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Project Lead The Way® (PLTW) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes pre-engineering courses for middle and high school students. PLTW forms partnerships with public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from our educational system.

Project Lead The Way® (PLTW) benefits everyone: parents, teachers, the fields of mathematics and science, and most importantly, students. Through PLTW, students receive:

  • An enriched education
  • An understanding of applications of mathematics and science
  • Useful career skills
  • College credit
  • A jump start on a successful future

Students can have a lucrative career in the fields of mathematics and science, achieving personal success and applying their skills and talents where they find the most inspiration. PLTW challenges young minds to reach their full potential through exciting courses and projects with real-world applications of classroom concepts.

If you are not currently a Virginia PLTW® educator, please visit www.pltw.org for further information on Project Lead the Way®.

The PLTW® Curriculum:
How and Why it Works

All PLTW ®  high school courses have several underlying content areas in common. As students progress through the sequence they will become proficient in:

  • working as a contributing member of a team
  • leading a team
  • using appropriate written and/or visual mediums to communicate with a wide variety of audiences
  • public speaking
  • listening to the needs and ideas of others
  • understanding the potential impact their ideas and products may have on society
  • thinking
  • problem solving
  • managing time, resources and projects
  • researching
  • going beyond the classroom for answers
  • data collection and analysis
  • preparing for two- and four-year college programs

PLTW ® 's curriculum makes math and science relevant for students. By engaging in hands-on, real-world projects, students understand how the skills they are learning in the classroom can be applied in everyday life. This approach is called activities-based learning, project-based learning, and problem-based learning or APPB-learning.

Project-based learning is a comprehensive approach to instruction that presents a project or relevant activity that enables students to synthesize knowledge and to individually resolve problems in a curricular context.

Problem-based learning is both a curriculum organizer and an instructional strategy that presents a problem, which is relevant and related to the context where students are the stakeholders. Students synthesize and construct knowledge to help them actively grapple with the complexities of the problem and develop strategies to direct their own learning. When students experience a problem in context, they are more likely to make connections and thus see the value in what they are learning.