PLTW Engineering pathway prepares students for future

“(Students who enjoy this class are) problem solvers--someone who is looking for a challenge and try to innovate new solutions." -Senior Seth Guest

Bradley Byler

Founded 22 years ago, the capacity of PLTW to educate students in careers in both medicine and engineering is unrivaled by most high school programs.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) enriches students knowledge in STEM fields such as computer science, engineering, and biomedical sciences. This week, the Engineering class takes the spotlight. Out of the three highschool pathways, engineering focuses on a variety of different fields within the engineering career cluster. Even if students are unsure about going into the field of engineering, PLTW is still a valid option. While the class is focused around engineering, it still utilizes core skills that can be applied in other fields as well.

“(Students who enjoy this class are) Problem solvers, specifically. Someone who is looking for a challenge and try to innovate new solutions. This is the first year this class is taught and we’re all figuring it out together,” Seth Guest, a senior taking Civil Engineering and Architecture, said.

The first class one must take in order to pursue the engineering pathway of PLTW is Principles of Engineering. This class covers a very broad spectrum, introducing students to the world of engineering as a whole while not getting to in depth into individual professions. The next class, Digital Electronics, allows students to try their hand at software, coding, and wiring electronics. The senior level class, Civil Engineering and Architecture, has students utilize 3D software to create and model structures and other architectural designs. All of these courses offer different modes and perspectives on engineering as a career.

“Don’t limit your options, although the PLTW courses give a lot of help and structure, there’s so many other options…and pathways to consider,” said Guest

By exposing students to first-hand experience and knowledge, the engineering pathway allows students to put themselves in the shoes of someone in structural or civil engineering, construction management, architecture, and many others.

“I was expecting to go into the civil engineering field but I didn’t know what the day to day was like. This class has actual information about what we’ll be doing. It provides much more detail than just a broad engineering class,” Guest said.

BSHS’s Project Lead the Way Engineering program is an incredibly powerful tool available to students. It allows them to not only get information on the career clusters they wish to investigate, but get a headstart in their desired career from a young age. Students interested in taking part in the engineering pathway need to take Principles of Engineering during their freshman or sophomore year in order to continue to senior level classes.