Project Lead the Way
Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) mission is 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 become the most innovative and productive in the world.
PLTW, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, is the nation’s leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum for schools. PLTW’s hands-on, Activities-, Project-, Problem-Based (APPB) comprehensive curriculum is aligned with relevant national standards and is collaboratively developed and updated by subject matter experts – including teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators. PLTW’s programs emphasize critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving. The hands-on learning engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they may not otherwise pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to post-secondary training and career success in STEM-related fields.
HISTORY & IMPACT
PLTW launched in 1997 in 12 high schools in upstate New York as a program designed to address the shortage of engineering students at the college level. The non-profit organization has experienced steady growth over the years. In the 2011-12 school year, more than 4,000 middle and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will offer PLTW programs, enrolling more than 400,000 students in STEM education courses. PLTW has also trained more than 10,500 teachers to instruct its courses.
• PLTW alumni are studying engineering and technology at five to ten times the average rate of all students.
• PLTW students have a higher retention rate in college engineering, science and related programs than other students in those areas.
• 97% of PLTW seniors intend to pursue a four-year degree or higher, whereas the national average is 67%.
• 80% of PLTW seniors say they will study engineering, technology, or computer science in college, whereas the national average is 32%.