Project Lead The Way

Project Lead The Way is the nation’s leading provider of rigorous STEM education for elementary, middle and high school students. The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study like engineering technology, civil engineering and biomedical science and provides them with a foundation for college and career success in STEM-related fields.

Many area schools participate in PLTW, with availability growing rapidly over the past five years:

(See list of participating schools.)

KC STEM Alliance supports Project Lead The Way implementation in the region in multiple ways:

Teacher-Mentor Days

Events take place annually, organized by field of study or grade level. Contact kcstem@kcstem.org for more information.

College and Career Readiness Network

Sessions take place quarterly, bringing together PLTW coordinators with state and national PLTW leadership.

Student Experiences

Events organized by KC STEM Alliance include:

PLTW Senior Capstone Fall Workshop. This annual event brings together high school seniors taking a PLTW capstone course in Engineering Design & Development or Biomedical Innovations. Students meet with area business professionals, who serve as mentors to help students identify or refine ideas for senior capstone projects, while their teachers meet for professional development and sharing of best practices. The net result is a fun and creative way for students to interact with peers, teachers and mentors from across the region.

Industry Partners and Connections. KC STEM Alliance connects volunteer mentors from the business and entrepreneurial community with PLTW students to provide guidance, insight and resources for their senior capstone projects. These connections give STEM professionals and entrepreneurs a way to give back and help industry partners with workforce development initiatives.

High School Senior Showcase. This annual event celebrates graduating PLTW students and highlights their senior capstone projects from Engineering Design and Development and Biomedical Innovations course in a festive event for friends, family, educators, business and community. Students bring their PLTW curriculum to life as they share their projects with attendees and judges for the Innovator Award Contest. This competition recognizes student projects based on innovativeness and marketability.

Design Competitions. Using the national PLTW’s Innovation Portal, KC STEM Alliance organizes two online competitions each year to highlight the importance of problem solving in STEM education and to recognize and reward outstanding student projects. These include the Engineering Design and Biomedical Research and Design contests. Winners receive scholarship dollars and recognition at the annual PLTW Senior Showcase.

Make it REAL Workshop. Winning teams from all three competitions receive invitations to an entrepreneurial workshop hosted by mentors from KC SourceLink and the Center for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development (C.E.E.D.). At the workshop students learn about the entrepreneurial mindset and meet one-on-one with mentors to evaluate the market potential and next steps for their ideas.

KC HealthTracks

KC HealthTracks is a community partnership that uses PLTW to bring awareness and opportunities in health science careers to students in 11 under-resourced high schools in seven Kansas City-area school districts. Learn more.

Find out more

This series of videos from national Project Lead The Way offer a closer look at what the curriculum is all about–please share with family, friends, colleagues, teachers, administrators and corporate partners!