Project Lead the Way
November 15, 2017
Project Lead the Way is a nonprofit STEM program that allows students to apply science, technology, and engineering and problem-solving skills to real life situations. The program’s unique curriculum is open to students from middle to high school and provides them with opportunities to learn, create, and communicate. Project Lead the Way’s mission is to “Empower students to thrive in an evolving world.” To achieve this goal, they provide teachers with the training and support needed to help their students achieve STEM education. This growing STEM program is now in over 10,500 schools and reaches over 2.4 million students nationwide. (https://www.pltw.org/)
Mercy High School is one of the many Project Lead the Way Schools, specialising in biomedical science. Mercy, which is now a PLTW school for four years, offers the program as a four-year course that builds on what each grade level did the previous year.
Each grade level focuses on a main objective and completes it by the end of the school year. The freshmen complete the “The Principles in Biomedical Science” course. This class is meant to expose the students to different biomedical professions and techniques. In the tenth grade, the sophomores will work to understand how the human body systems work in the “Human Body Systems” course. To understand the functions of the many body systems, the sophomores will build a model of the body and complete five different dissections on the brain, kidney, eye, muscle, and a bone. In the “Medical Innovations” course the juniors will look at skin cancer and genetic disorders and explore different medical treatments and approaches to cure a medical disease. In the final year the seniors will finish the Project Lead the Way program with the “Capstone Course.” In this final course they will create an emergency room, test the local water supply and create an environmental report, and perform an autopsy on a fetal pig.
The PLTW’s curriculum allow teachers to integrate technology into the lessons in a new way. Some of the different equipment used during the labs, such as the wireless microscope, enable students to connect their iPads to each piece of equipment. With this, students are able to perform a wider range of things, like taking a picture of a microscopic image and labeling the different parts of the image. The integration of technology into the lesson enables it to be taught in a more modernized way in which the students of today are familiar with.
Project Lead the Way is a program that everyone can enjoy, especially those who are interested in pursuing a career in the biomedical professions in the future.