Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW’s) 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 is the nation’s leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education for middle schools and high schools. PLTW’s comprehensive curriculum, which is collaboratively developed by PLTW teachers, University educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators, emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM related fields.
HISTORY AND IMPACT
PLTW began in 1998 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 grown to a network of almost 3,400 public middle and high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia enrolling 300,000 students. More than 500,000 students across the country have taken at least one PLTW course and over 10,000 teachers have been trained to teach PLTW 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 4-year degrees 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%.
• PLTW students achieve significantly higher scores in reading, mathematics and science than career and technical education (CTE) students in the same school in similar CTE fields.