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Project Lead The Way

Programs and Curriculum

PLTW’s Activities, Project, Problem-Based (APPB) curriculum is aligned with national standards and is collaboratively developed and updated by subject matter and industry experts – including classroom teachers, school administrators, university educators and industry professionals.

PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Sciences, and PLTW Computer Science programs for high schools, PLTW Gateway program for middle schools, and PLTW Launch for elementary schools set the highest standards for rigorous, focused and engaging study. These programs emphasize critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and real-world problem solving. The hands-on learning engages students, exposing them to new areas of study that they may not otherwise pursue, and gives them the knowledge, skills and confidence to so.

PLTW courses are designed to appeal to all students with relevant lessons that make connections between what they are learning and the real challenges in our communities and the world. Students finishing the programs have a foundation and proven path to post-secondary training and career success.

Benefits of the PLTW program include:

  • An up-to-date online turnkey curriculum package
  • Curriculum based on national standards
  • Online resources and active professional communities
  • Teacher trainings through our Affiliate Universities in Washington
  • End-of-Course assessments
  • Access to a nationwide support network that includes postsecondary institutions, state education officials, business and industry partners, and professional associations

PLTW Biomedical Sciences Curriculum

Principles of Biomedical Science: In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. While investigating the case, students examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce students to human physiology, basic biology, medicine and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems.

Human Body Systems: Students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection and homeostasis in the body. Exploring science in action, students build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®, use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration, and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases

Medical Interventions: Students follow the life of a fictitious family as they investigate how to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. Students explore how to detect and fight infection, screen and evaluate the code in human DNA, evaluate cancer treatment options, and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through real-world cases, students are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices and diagnostics.

Biomedical Innovations: In the final course of the PLTW Biomedical Science sequence, students build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. Students address topics ranging from public health and biomedical engineering to clinical medicine and physiology. They have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, medical facility or research institution.

PLTW middle school Gateway Curriculum

Medical Detectives: Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hand-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health. This is one of ten units available for the middle school level.