Project Lead the Way is the nation's leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) solution in over 5,000 schools across the U.S. Through topics like coding and robotics, flight and space, and DNA and crime scene analysis, middle school students engage their natural curiosity and imagination in creative problem solving. PLTW Gateway is a strong foundation for further STEM learning in high school and beyond, challenging students to solve real-world challenges, such as cleaning oil spills and designing sustainable housing solutions. Using the same advanced software and tools as those used by the world’s leading companies, students learn how to apply math, science, technology, and engineering to their everyday lives.
PLTW Gateway is divided into independent, nine-week units, assuming a 45-minute class period. PLTW Gateway is designed to be taught in conjunction with a challenging academic curriculum. You can find more information about PLTW at https://www.pltw.org/about-pltw.
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.
Energy & the Environment
Students are challenged to think big and toward the future as they explore sustainable solutions to our energy needs and investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the world. They design and model alternative energy sources and evaluates options for reducing energy consumption.
Magic of Electrons
Through hands on projects students explore electricity, the behavior and parts of atoms, and sensing devices. They acquire knowledge and skills in basic circuitry design, and examine the impact of electricity on the world around them.
Flight & Space
The exciting world of aerospace comes alive through Flight and Space. Students explore the science behind aeronautics and use their knowledge to design, build, and test an airfoil. Custom-built simulation software allows students to experience space travel.
Students will learn about careers in Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering, The History of Flight and Space, Aeronautics; where students will build flying machines, learn to fly on simulators and design and build gliders. The last part of the course will explore space travel and what it is like to live in space.
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.