PROJECT LEAD THE WAY (PLTW)
PLTW provides opportunities for students to find interest in engineering areas and later leads to possibilities of choosing a career in engineering.
Research shows that students introduced to engineering principles, concepts, and real-world problems in high school are better prepared for college engineering programs. PLTW is centered on the idea of bringing the practical application to students while their opinions about careers and interests are still forming. As of 2006, the federal government estimated that the United States would lack 15 million engineers and technology workers over the next 15 years, this statistic seems unbelievable to engineering educators. PLTW was started to increase the quantity, quality, and diversity of America’s workforce of engineers and engineering technology workers.
Since 2004, PLTW has been following up with students through student testing after the courses have been completed. Below is a list of results conducted from the testing:
- PLTW alumni are 5 to 10 times more likely to pursue engineering and technology classes than other first-year college students.
- On average, PLTW alumni have a GPA 0.21 points higher than the average GPA of all first-year college students.
- PLTW students surveyed in Wisconsin middle schools and high schools reported being more engaged in schoolwork than did non-PLTW students.
- PLTW students outscored a random sample of other career/technical students by 10 points in reading, 11 points in mathematics, and 10 points in science.
- 79 percent of PLTW graduates completed four years of college-preparatory mathematics and 63 percent completed four years of college-preparatory science.
- 97 percent of PLTW alumni said they planned to pursue a four-year degree as opposed to 67 percent of non-PLTW students.
Results from Maryland’s PLTW
UMBC trained a record number of teachers in the summer of 2008. All foundation courses, IED, POE, and DE were filled to capacity and another section of POE was opened to accommodate the influx of Montgomery County teachers. EDD was also at full capacity with the specialty courses CIM, CEA, and AE not far behind. UMBC continues to lead the country in registrations for the AE course. GTT was also offered and continues to grow as more schools are added in the state. In the final analysis, over 200 teachers received training this summer with many applying for graduate credit.