WPI is the Massachusetts Affiliate University for Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. Each summer WPI offers PLTW core training to prepare educators to teach PLTW courses. WPI hosts an annual PLTW fall conference, assists with the implementation of the PLTW curricular programs, and provides ongoing support to PLTW schools in MA and other New England states.
Below is information on the Project Lead The Way curriculum, how to become a PLTW school, our annual conference, corporate support opportunities, and how WPI students can earn college credit. Other PLTW questions should be directed to Terry Adams, PLTW Program Manager in the STEM Education Center at WPI.
The 2016 Massachusetts Project Lead The Way STEM Conference will be held Thursday, October 20, 2016 at WPI. Learn more now...
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) creates an engaging environment and empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an evolving world. Through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, K-12 students learn problem-solving strategies, critical and creative thinking, and how to communicate and collaborate through hands-on activities, projects, and problems reflective of real-world scenarios and careers.
The PLTW curriculum is offered in over 9,000 schools, including more than 80 in Massachusetts. PLTW curricular programs are aligned to national standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts.
To help you make a decision on PLTW's appropriateness for your district or school, be sure to thoroughly review PLTW's webpage that details the steps to starting a PLTW curricular program. You will find information on all the offerings including course descriptions, outlines, resumes, and standards alignment. Plus you can get information on the necessary investment, register your district or school, and access the PLTW Implementation Guide. If you have questions after reviewing the materials, contact PLTW or Terry Adams, PLTW Program Manager in the STEM Education Center at WPI.
Please note: Although some MA high schools have chosen to run PLTW as a Chapter 74 curricular program, PLTW courses are considered part of the general education courses in a comprehensive high school. Most often PLTW high school courses are offered as electives.
The PLTW Program Support and Resources webpages have a wealth of information to help your PLTW program thrive.
Information on WPI's summer 2017 PLTW core training will be available by March of 2017. Our offerings will likely fall during the July 10 to August 4 timeframe.
Massachusetts teachers should not go out-of-state for PLTW core training unless the course desired is not offered at WPI or the teacher has extenuating circumstances that make it impossible to attend WPI's core training.
By attending core training you will earn the certification required to teach the PLTW course in which you participate. WPI hosts core training each summer. This intensive professional development provides the following:
To attend PLTW core training you must complete the following process; this process will likely change before summer 2017:
This conference, held every October, is open to all K-12 schools and other interested parties. By participating, you will learn about developing a K-12 STEM pathway focused on engineering, computer science, and/or biomedical science. Administrators, teachers and students from successful PLTW schools will share their experiences and lessons learned. The agenda includes many options for each breakout session, so there are topics of interest to everyone, whether you've been involved with PLTW for a long time or this is the first you've heard of the curriculum.
Today’s high-tech companies realize the importance of providing students with not only a solid foundation in understanding and using technology, but also with the skills to apply that technology in solving problems. PLTW schools believe a rigorous curriculum challenges students to succeed and that hands-on, project-based courses lead to a methodical approach to solving open-ended problems.
There are many ways in which business and industry members may become involved with and support PLTW schools in Massachusetts. You can partner with WPI on our efforts, join a district's PLTW Partnership Team, host a school field trip, judge student projects or speak in the classroom, etc. Corporate gifts and/or equipment and material donations are also greatly appreciated by PLTW schools. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Martha Cyr to discuss your interest.
Project Lead The Way offers high school students who have passed minimum requirements the unique opportunity to obtain college credit for their PLTW courses!
Current WPI students who completed a PLTW engineering course in high school, received a minimum of a "B" in the course, and earned a stanine score of 6 or higher on the PLTW end-of-course exam are eligible for WPI undergraduate credit, free of charge. WPI course equivalents have already been identified for Introduction to Engineering Design (IED), Principles of Engineering (POE), Civil Engineering & Architecture (CEA), Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), and Digital Electronics (DE). As deemed appropriate, WPI also accepts PLTW transfer credits from other PLTW Affiliate Universities (RIT and others).
If you have questions about WPI's policy for PLTW credit or wish to apply for credit please contact Terry Adams.
Keep up-to- date about the STEM Education Center and opportunities at WPI for educators through monthly newsletters and timely information about news and events for educators and those that support them.