Project Lead the Way

What is the Project Lead the Way Program all about?

The PLTW program has a number of courses that are designed around the following benchmarks:

  • To generate interest towards the technology based careers of the 21st century
  • Allow students to increase learning by applying knowledge from math and science classes to solve real world problems

You should take one of the PLTW courses if:

  • You enjoy being creative
  • You like to make tangible projects
  • You enjoy math and science
  • You enjoy working with technology

What types of students have been successful in PLTW classes?

  • Honors math and science students have found benefit through PLTW courses as they are challenged to apply principles from math and science.
  • Students who generally need to see application of math and science to increase understanding of these subjects have found success in PLTW classes.
Although many of the PLTW courses take an engineering perspective, you do not need to be a future engineer to take a PLTW course.  Many of the careers of the 21st century seek out the skills and knowledge developed through PLTW courses such as:
  • Problem solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Using math & science to solve practical problems
  • Developing technology
    Working in teams

Project Lead The Way at Metamora High School

Watch this video to find out what Project Lead The Way is all about!

Opportunities for Girls in Project Lead the Way classes:
There is a common misnomer in today’s culture that the technology related careers that are focused on in the Project Lead The Way program are primarily for guys. This is very unfortunate, as many girls have seen great success not only in these classes, but also in related careers after high school. There are many girls throughout the nation that are interested in and good at math and science concepts. In reality, girls are often more successful than some guys in many of the technology, science, and math related careers that are encouraged through Project Lead The Way classes. As there will be tremendous opportunities for girls to excel in a science, math, and technology based workforce in the future, MTHS definitely encourages girls to enroll in Project Lead The Way classes to see if this is a pathway that is right for them.
Which Project Lead the Way course is right for you?
A common question with regards to the Project Lead The Way program is which class is right for you. As every student’s situation and educational goals are different, MTHS is providing a flexible structure for students to decide which class to enroll in. Many students find the learning format of each of these classes to be quite fun. Yet, as there are a large number of projects in each of these classes, the pace of the classes are quite fast. Nonetheless, students have found that as long as they work hard and utilize the time in class wisely, they very rarely have homework. The following is going to go through example scenarios for each grade level in high school to give students insight to try to determine which Project Lead The Way class will be best to enroll in. Please feel free to contact any of the Project Lead The Way teachers if you would like help reviewing your situation to know which class is best to enroll in.
Freshmen Options:
The following is going to outline the Project Lead The Way classes available to you if you are a freshman. It is completely possible for an interested student to take all of the Project Lead The Way classes throughout a high school career. If a student would like to take a Project Lead The Way class as a freshman, the Introduction to Engineering Design class is the main option. Although a freshman does not need any prior knowledge with regards to this class to be successful in it, the student does need to have had some algebra as an eighth grader. If you are uncertain whether you should enroll in Introduction to Engineering Design as a freshman or wait until your sophomore year, please feel free to contact one of the Project Lead The Way teachers to help review your situation.Sophomore Options:
If you are a sophomore, you have several Project Lead The Way courses available to you. If you have not taken the Introduction to Engineering Design course and know that you would like to take two or more Project Lead The Way courses through your high school career, you are encouraged to take Introduction to Engineering Design. However, if you have already taken Introduction to Engineering Design, or if you know this is likely the only Project Lead The Way class that you will be able to take, you can enroll in either Digital Electronics or Principles of Engineering. A student does not need to have any prior knowledge of electronics before taking this course. Yet, a student does need to be very confident that they have a good understanding of Algebra I. Students do not need to have any specific knowledge of the Principles of Engineering course prior to taking it. The Principles of Engineering course tends to utilize some advanced algebra and physics with many of the projects that are constructed. As students at MTHS usually do not take physics until their junior year, most decide to take POE during that year. Yet, some students decide to take POE during their sophomore year to give them a leg up when they take physics as a junior. Although a student does not necessarily have to have the physics class prior to or during the time of taking Principles of Engineering, students should have a very firm grasp of Algebra I. Some basic Algebra with trigonometry is introduced in Principles of Engineering. Yet, a student can still be very successful in Principles of Engineering without having trigonometry at the time of taking the class.
Junior & Senior Options:
As a junior or senior, there are even more Project Lead The Way class options available. A junior could potentially take Introduction to Engineering Design (IED), Digital Electronics (DE), Principles of Engineering (POE), or Civil Engineering & Architecture (CEA). The prerequisites for each of these classes include a strong foundation and understanding of Algebra I. Likewise, for a student to enroll in Civil Engineering & Architecture, they should have already taken either Introduction to Engineering Design, or the semester course of Drafting I that introduces the Auto CAD software.
Project Lead The Way students Tour CAT & Interview Engineers

Project Lead The Way students at Metamora High School were given a tremendous opportunity to tour a CAT facility this past fall.  Included in this tour was the opportunity for students to interview practicing engineers at CAT.  Many students found this to be time well spent as they were able to gain relevant advice for future school and career planning.

PLW Cat Interviews


Bachman, Joseph

Project Lead The Way Teacher
Digital Electronics
Principles of Engineering

309-367-4151 x603

Stoecker, Brian

Project Lead the Way Teacher:
Introduction to Engineering Design

309-367-4151 x306