June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
11.1020.1 - 11.1020.11
Preparing Tomorrow’s Engineers and Engineering Technologists: An Evaluation of the Project Lead The Way Outreach Program for Middle and High School Students in Indiana
Project Lead The Way is a pre-engineering program designed to prepare students for postsecondary engineering and engineering technology courses. PLTW courses utilize project- and problem-based learning strategies that encourage students to apply what they learn to real- life situations. At the middle school level the program is called Gateway to Technology. Gateway to Technology is project-based and designed with all students in mind and addresses national standards in math, science and technology. One of the goals of the middle school curriculum is to increase interest and awareness of female and minority students in technology and related careers. Gateway to Technology also encourages increasing numbers of students to elect the high school program.
Over the past 6 years participation in PLTW in Indiana has risen to over 125 schools with over 14,000 students. The evaluation study sought to understand how PLTW programs are implemented and structured, as a means of identifying ways to increase the effectiveness of the PLTW programs in Indiana and sustaining them in the long term.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a national program in partnership with public schools, institutions of higher education and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from the education system. It seeks dynamic collaborations with schools to prepare an increasing and more diverse group of students to be successful in engineering and engineering technology programs by providing them with an innovative and relevant high school pre-engineering curriculum; interactive, project-based middle school technology curriculum; comprehensive teacher training program; and continuous improvement in both curriculum and training. Quality assurance is maintained through systematic program evaluation, leadership and support to PLTW schools and students on the national and state/regional level1.
Project Lead the Way introduces students to the scope, rigor and discipline of engineering and engineering technology prior to entering college. The goal of Project Lead the Way is to increase the number and quality of engineers and engineering technologists by providing a fully developed curriculum for high schools and extensive training for teachers and school counselors. The program not only attracts more students to engineering but it also allows them to determine if engineering is the career they desire. It is expected that students participating in the PLTW curriculum are better prepared for college engineering programs and more likely to be successful, thereby reducing the attrition rate in these college programs.
The high school Project Lead The Way program is a pre-engineering program taken in conjunction with college-preparatory level academics designed to prepare students for postsecondary engineering and engineering technology courses. PLTW courses utilize project-
Ncube, L. (2006, June), Preparing Tomorrow’s Engineers And Engineering Technologists: An Evaluation Of The Project Lead The Way Outreach Program For Middle And High School Students In Indiana Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--884
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