Project Lead the Way Engineering

Below, you will find a brief outline of the courses for the Project Lead the Way Engineering program.  Students will complete three courses over the course of their Career-Related Programme.  All information below is from the Project Lead the Way website.  

Students will take the following courses (click on the link to see the course description and outline):

Principles of Engineering (11th Grade)

Course Description:

Principles of Engineering (POE) is a foundation course of the high school engineering pathway. This survey course exposes students to some of the major concepts that they will encounter in a postsecondary engineering course of study. Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of materials and structures, automation, and kinematics. The course applies and concurrently develops secondary level knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, and technology.  

Students have the opportunity to develop skills and understanding of course concepts through activity-, project-, and problem-based (APB) learning. By solving rigorous and relevant design problems using engineering and science concepts within a collaborative learning environment, APB learning challenges students to continually hone their interpersonal skills, creative abilities, and problem solving skills. Students will also learn how to document their work and communicate their solutions to their peers and members of the professional community. It also allows students to develop strategies to enable and direct their own learning, which is the ultimate goal of education.

Course Outline:

Unit 1:  Energy and Power

  • Mechanisms
  • Energy Sources
  • Energy Applications
  • Design Problem--Energy and Power

Unit 2:  Materials and Structures

  • Statistics
  • Material Properties
  • Material Testing
  • Design Problem--Materials and Structures

Unit 3:  Commercial Applications

  • Machine Control
  • Fluid Power
  • Design Problem--Control Systems

Unit 4:  Statistics and Kinematics

  • Statistics
  • Kinematics


Introduction to Engineering Design (11th Grade)


Course Description:

Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) is a high school level foundation course in the PLTW Engineering Program. In IED students are introduced to the engineering profession and a common approach to the solution of engineering problems, an engineering design process. Utilizing the activity-project-problem-based (APB)
teaching and learning pedagogy, students will progress from completing structured activities to solving open-ended projects and problems that require them to develop planning, documentation, communication, and other professional skills.

Through both individual and collaborative team activities, projects, and problems, students will solve problems as they practice common engineering design and development protocols such as project management and peer review. Students will develop skill in technical representation and documentation of design solutions according to accepted technical standards, and they will use current 3D design and modeling software to represent and communicate solutions. In addition the development of computational methods that are commonly used in engineering problem solving, including statistical analysis and mathematical modeling, are emphasized. Ethical issues related to professional practice and product development are also presented.

Course Outline:

  • Unit 1:  Design Process
  • Unit 2:  Technical Sketching and Drawing
  • Unit 3:  Measurement and Statistics
  • Unit 4:  Modeling Skills
  • Unit 5:  Geometry of Design
  • Unit 6:  Reverse Engineering
  • Unit 7:  Documentation
  • Unit 8:  Advanced Computer Modeling
  • Unit 9:  Design Team
  • Unit 10:  Design Challenges



Computer Integrated Manufacturing (12th Grade)


Course Description:

Manufactured items are part of everyday life, yet few people understand the excitement and innovation that is used to transform ideas into products. This course provides an opportunity for students to recognize many of the
exciting career opportunities in the manufacturing industry.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing is one of the specialization courses in the PLTW Engineering program. The course deepens the skills and knowledge of an engineering student within the context of efficiently creating the products all around us. Students build upon their Computer Aided Design (CAD) experience through the use of Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software. CAM transforms a digital design into a program that a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) mill uses to transform a block of raw material into a product designed by a student.  Students learn and apply concepts related to integrating robotic systems such as Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and robotic arms into manufacturing systems.

Throughout the course students learn about manufacturing processes and systems. This course culminates with a capstone project where students design, build, program, and present a manufacturing system model capable of creating a product.

Course Outline:

Unit 1:  Principles of Manufacturing

  • History of Manufacturing
  • Control Systems
  • Cost of Manufacturing

Unit 2:  Manufacturing Processes

  • Designing for Manufacturability
  • How We Make Things
  • Product Development

Unit 3:  Elements of Automation

  • Introduction to Robotic Automation
  • Introduction to Automation Power
  • Robotic Programming and Usage

Unit 4:  Integration of Manufacturing

  • CIM Systems
  • Integration of Manufacturing