Project Lead The Way (PLTW)
Gateway to Technology (GTT)
The PLTW GTT program features a project-based curriculum designed to challenge and engage the natural curiosity and imagination of middle school students. They envision, design, and test their ideas by completing projects.
· 6th grade students establish their engineering knowledge base with an introduction to the engineering design process, sketching, drawings, and industry standard design software.
· 7th grade builds on this base of knowledge and focuses on engineering related to energy and the environment.
· 8th grade introduces automation and robotics by studying gears, mechanical systems, and software programming used to control mechanical systems.
The knowledge that students gain and the skills they build from PLTW GTT creates a strong foundation for further Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning in high school and beyond. Throughout PLTW GTT, students acquire knowledge and skills in problem solving, teamwork, and innovation as well as explore STEM careers. PLTW GTT for sixth through eighth grades is designed to spark an interest in STEM subjects and prepare students for further study in high school.
Design and Modeling (DM) - 6th Grade
Students are introduced to the engineering design process and use it in projects to create designs and solve the issues associated with the design of the outcome of the project. Students not only use industry standard 3D modeling software, AutoDesk® Inventor®, but also use SketchUp8 and West Point Bridge, which are other design tools, to create a virtual image of their designs. Students are exposed to measurement, sketching, and drawings. Regularly shown engineering career videos begin to show the wide variety of opportunities that are and will be available to women and men of all cultures.
Energy and the Environment (EE) - 7th Grade
Students investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the environment. A base of knowledge about the types and different sources of energy is established. The engineering design process focuses on the use of wind energy to create designs and solve issues with the design of wind turbines. Students use the knowledge base framework from 6th grade in their projects and review their use of sketching and AutoDesk® Inventor®.
Automation and Robotics (AR) - 8th Grade
Students are introduced to automation and robotics. Basic mechanical concepts are introduced. This begins with gears and how they relate to energy transfer and mechanical systems. It evolves into automating mechanical systems and subsequently adding software control. This base of knowledge is used to follow plans to build and control a robot. Students use the knowledge base gained from the previous two years in their projects and review their use of sketching and AutoDesk® Inventor®.