PLTW creates innovators

A report finds that Project Lead the Way is succeeding in creating a new generation of innovators.



A recent report revealed what thousands of educators, policymakers, parents, and students have known for years - Project Lead the Way Inc. (PLTW) is engaging more students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The report finds that approximately 40% of PLTW graduates study engineering and technology in their freshman year of college. By comparison, data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that only 4.3% of all beginning postsecondary students selected engineering in 2006. PLTW alumni are studying engineering and technology at 10 times the average rate of all students. The report also finds that PLTW students achieved significantly higher scores in reading, mathematics, and science than career and technical education (CTE) students in the same school in similar CTE fields.

Equally as important, PLTW is providing students with a foundation and proven college and career path in STEM fields that are critical to America's ability to compete in today's global economy. A National Business Roundtable report states that to remain competitive in the global marketplace, America must graduate 400,000 science, technical, engineering, and mathematics four year degrees annually, yet we currently graduate only 265,000 annually.

PLTW, the leading provider of STEM education in the country, partners with middle schools and high schools to implement a hands-on, project-based curriculum that prepares students for academic and professional success in these fields. PLTW teachers, who are required to complete an intensive two week summer training program in order to teach a PLTW course, emphasize creativity and context-based learning that helps students understand how the skills they are learning can be applied in everyday life.

Key findings from the report include:

• PLTW students elected engineering majors in college at a rate five to 10 times greater than their peers.
• PLTW high school students scored significantly higher in mathematics and science than their peers in comparable Career and Technical Education studies.
• More than half of PLTW students completing their senior survey said they intended to pursue education at the postgraduate level.
• Female and male students achieved equivalently on PLTW end of course examinations.
• About 90% of PLTW students who were surveyed in the summer after their high school graduation said that they had a clear and confident sense of the types of college majors and jobs they intended to pursue, and that their PLTW learning experiences were significantly responsible for that knowledge.

Download the full report (PDF).

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