Career Technical and Adult Education

TWO Project Lead the Way (PLTW) programs now in Montana schools

Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 11:42 am

The Billings Career Center and Bozeman High School currently offer an Engineering program and Bozeman, Helena and Capital High Schools currently offer a Biomedical program.  Big Sky High School (Missoula) will also offer a Biomedical program through their new Health Science Academy.  Several other schools are contemplating this exciting program for 2012-2013 as well.

Project Lead the Way is a non-profit group that identified the need to create Science, Technology, Enginerring and Math (STEM) curriculum in Engineering and Biomedical Science.  Although the actual curriculum is free of charge, schools sign an agreement with PLTW to use lesson plans, materials and training identified for the curriculum which has a cost.

So what is different?  PLTW teaches students to understand systems, build systems, and evaluate systems in order to find solutions and solve problems.  PLTW is comprised of three elements: curricula, professional development, and partnerships.  These elements are coherently organized and interconnected to produce rigorous and relevant learning for students and for teachers.  The curriculum's foundation is based on relevance and rigor.  By making the curriculum relevant, learning becomes accessible to all students.  In a PLTW classroom instructors answer the most difficult questions a student can ask on a daily basis:  'Why do I have to learn this?' 'When am I ever going to use this?'  PLTW does this by providing students with opportunities to apply their new found knowledge or skills to a relevant problem/challenge through student-centered, project-based learning.  The curriculum also provides a unique balance between content learning and skill acquisition.  This balance prepares students for options after their secondary education, whether they want to secure a job out of high school or pursue higher education.

If you would like additional information about either Project Lead the Way programs, please contact the PLTW State Leader, Renee Harris. 

For more information, contact Renee Harris, 406-994-6986