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Project Lead the Way sequence

  1. Nov 4, 2007 #1
    Hello, This is my first time posting here. My HS has a Project Lead the Way sequence. Im currently enrolled in Honors Drawing & Design for Production, Im considering taking the rest which are Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Digital Electronics, Principles Of Engineering and Engineering Design & Development. If i take all of these will they give me a good foundation in enginnering if i go on and continue to study this in college?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2007 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    This is the first time I've even heard of PLTW, and I know nothing about it besides what's on their web site, but those courses do look fairly substantial. Several universities award credit for some of their courses based on PLTW work:


    So I'd say that even if you end up going somewhere that doesn't grant credit for PLTW courses, they'd probably help you get through the intro engineering courses.
  4. Dec 8, 2007 #3
    Hey there gawrys111.
    I'm a senior at my HS and I have just finished my 5 class in the PLTW curricullum Engineering Design and Development. My friend, PLTW has given me a leg up on the rest of the world. I'm one of 4 students at my school with a college level internship with pay, because of the experience I have gained from PLTW. My internship is actually with a Fortune 500 Company, and right now I'm working on getting another one with a Navy Tech Development branch. Seriously though the class isn't for everyone, and I'm sure you're finding that out now. We started with 60 qualified kids in Introduction to Engineering Design my freshman year, the next year we were down to 20 kids, over all 15 kids finished the program this year at my school.

    Anyway the classes. My second year we had Digital Electronics or DE (if you stick with it you'll start using acronyms more often). In DE we were taught to make basic circuits, and how to operate certain tools like an Osicillscope. You will learn Boolean Algebra that year, and the words "AND" "OR" and "NOT" will have a whole new meaning for you. You may also step into stamp programming. I am not sure what you will experience in this class, because the curricullum requirements change very often for this class, because of the continuous jumps in Digital Electronic innovation.

    The next class for me was Principles of Engineering. In this class you begin to do a lot of projects, which require the use of the problem/design process. Here you will be introduced to a very interesting form of math known as Vector Calculus. Vectors are only difficult if you can't interpret information on your own.

    CIM is fun. I'm not joking. I had a ton of fun in this class. Here you will learn all there is about robotics. Depending on whether your school has a CNC router you will learn about CNC programming. Also you will learn to step program robots like robotic arms, or even a miniture sorting station that you may have to construct from scratch. Believe me this was fun.

    Ok EDD, or Engineering Design and Development or Erectial Disfunction Disorder, because this class can put a lot of stress on you. This is what PLTW calls the Capstone Class, because it's the last thing you have to do. The entire semester you will be working on 1 project. Your group will get to decide what project you want to do, through design matricies, and you will have to keep a very very tight control over your documentation. If you do this class, just be prepared to not let senioritis take control over you. With the aid of my group in this class we created a Manufacturing Process for a Fortune 500 Company Leggett & Platt, and it was actually approved by the company.

    In short man PLTW opens up a lot for you.
  5. Dec 27, 2007 #4
    I see this is a pretty old post, but I'm bringing it back because it's relevant to what I'm doing. gawrys, I'm a senior like hmh, and have taken IED, DE, CIM, POE, and am currently taking EDD. At my high school we can get college credit to the Rochester Institute of Technology for courses we've passed.

    So far, I've taken the tests for all courses but EDD and gotten in the high 80's or 90's on all of them, and mailed in money ($200 per course) for college credit. These courses would normally cost around $2,000 each if taken at RIT, so it's definitely something to take seriously.

    I believe the PLTW courses give a good foundation for going into an engineering program because unlike math or science courses, they are project-based as many in college are said to be. You work in teams of 3-4 students on most projects and have competitions throughout the year (although as hmh said this varies from school to school). My school's tech department is lucky enough to have a CNC machine (a really really nice one in fact) which we have used to mill out logos, do engraving, make parts for a combined CIM/POE battlebot competition, and do other side-projects with.

    Speaking for myself, my work has paid off as I've been accepted into RIT's mechanical engineering program and will begin this upcoming Fall. Having taken these courses in high school means I'll have a few elective credits out of the way and will have more room in my schedule for other more advanced ones.
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