PLTW’s Kick-Off Workshop

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 by
In Community, Culture, tagged in
pltw workshop

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a nationally certified, pre-engineering program for high school students. It is noted as one of the top, nationwide, STEM programs. PLTW offers a senior capstone class, Engineering Design & Development, which allows students to experience the process of solving a technical problem of their choice. In it, the students work in teams throughout the school year.

To kick-off this year’s class, the KC STEM Alliance sponsored a fall workshop, which was attended by 210 engineering students, 146 biomedical students, 30 teachers from 16 metro school districts, and 50 mentors from the business community. The group of participating students was diverse, and there was a general sense of excitement and energy throughout the day.

At the workshop, the student teams had the opportunity to meet in small groups to discuss their projects and anticipated pathways and receive feedback from design professionals. The mentors helped students more clearly define their project and determine if the problem they identified is appropriate and feasible. Discipline specific mentors were on hand to help students select and refine measureable design requirements for their projects. Teams that had not yet developed an idea were able to meet with mentors who helped them identify areas of interest, along with potential ideas.

Then, the student teams were coached on the process they would use after their problem had been identified. It can be summarized as follows:

  • Select and validate a specific problem.
  • Analyze possible solutions.
  • Design an optimum solution.
  • Construct a prototype.
  • Test and refine the prototype.
  • Present a solution.

PLTW’s kick-off workshop is only the beginning. The program will culminate with a student showcase on April 16, 2016 at Union Station. Here, student teams will present the results of their year-long projects.

Learn more about our past involvement with this STEM program here:

Introducing Middle School Students to Engineering
The R&D Forum Recap
Affinis Partners with Project Lead the Way

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