Mission: To provide a transformative learning experience for pre-K-12 students and teachers across the United States.
About the Organization: Launched in 1999, Project Lead the Way works to create engaging classroom environments in which students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the twenty-first century and teachers receive the training, resources, and support they need to engage students in real-world learning. With a focus on helping students develop problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills they can use in school and for the rest of their lives, the organization has developed an activity-, project-, and problem-based (APB) curriculum centered around structured activities and hands-on projects that empower students to identify problems, work collaboratively, apply what they know, persevere through challenges, and lead their own learning.
Current Programs: The organization's programs are organized into three "pathways" — in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. The elementary school program, PLTW Launch, is designed to tap into students' natural inquisitiveness and engage them in learning that feels like play in areas ranging from the life sciences to the properties of matter to computer programming. The middle school program, PLTW Gateway, empowers students to lead their own discovery through units focused on topics such as automation and robotics, energy and the environment, and flight and space. The high school programs, PLTW Computer Science, PLTW Engineering, and PLTW Biomedical Science, empower students to become creators instead of just consumers of technology; to adopt a problem-solving mindset and make the leap from dreamers to doers; and to learn the principles of biomedical science through activities such as suturing and constructing body structures from clay.
The organization's professional development services for educators include in-person, online, and blended Core Training in which teachers take on the role of a student and engage in in-depth exploration of PLTW coursework while preparing to become classroom facilitators and coaches. Teachers also can consult the Solution Center for support or, through the site's Community tool, connect and share their experiences, expertise, and best practices with other educators.
Website: Visitors to the site can learn more about the Project Lead the Way curricula, keep up with the latest developments via the organization's blog, search an interactive map by state to locate schools that have implemented the PLTW curriculum, or read success stories for each of the programs. The site also offers resources designed to help school districts, schools, and teachers build strong PLTW programs, including an Implementation Guide, best practices, and regional and national events.
Funding: Project Lead the Way is supported by contributions from foundations and corporations and service fees.