Project Lead the Way Engineering Program at ERHS

  • The PLTW Pathway To Engineering (PTE) program is a sequence of courses, which follows a proven hands-on, real-world problem-solving approach to learning. Throughout PTE, students learn and apply the design process, acquire strong teamwork and communication proficiency and develop organizational, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills. They discover the answers to questions like how are things made and what processes go into creating products? Students use the same industry-leading 3D design software used by companies like Intel, Lockheed Martin and Pixar. They explore aerodynamics, astronautics and space life sciences. Hello, NASA. Students apply biological and engineering concepts related to biomechanics – think robotics. They design, test and actually construct circuits and devices such as smart phones and tablets and work collaboratively on a culminating capstone project. It’s STEM education and it’s at the heart of today’s high-tech, high-skill global economy.

    PTE courses complement traditional mathematics and science courses and can serve as the foundation for STEM-centered or specialized academies. The program is designed to prepare students to pursue a post-secondary education and careers in STEM-related fields.


    • PLTW Engineering Essentials 
      Engineering Essentials is a full-year course designed to be a high school student's first exposure to the PLTW Engineering program and is appropriate for students in grades 9-12. In Engineering Essentials, students explore the work of engineers and their role in the design and development of solutions to real-world problems. The course introduces students to engineering concepts that are applicable across multiple engineering disciplines and empowers them to build technical skills through the use of a variety of engineering tools, such as geographic information systems (GIS), 3-D solid modeling software, and prototyping equipment. Students learn and apply the engineering design process to develop mechanical, electronic, process, and logistical solutions to relevant problems across a variety of industry sectors, including health care, public service, and product development and manufacturing. 

    • PLTW Computer Science Essentials
      Computer Science Essentials introduces students to coding fundamentals through an approachable, block-based programming language where they will have early success in creating usable apps. As students sharpen their computational thinking skills, they will transition to programming environments that reinforce coding fundamentals by displaying block programming and text-based programming side-by-side. Finally, students will learn the power of text-based programming as they are introduced to the Python® programming language. The course engages students in computational thinking practices and collaboration strategies, as well as industry-standard tools authentic to how computer science professionals work. Students will learn about professional opportunities in computer science and how computing can be an integral part of all careers today.

    • PLTW Environmental Sustainability
      Environmental Sustainability (ES) is a high school-level specialization course in PLTW Engineering. In ES, students investigate and design solutions to solve real-world challenges related to clean drinking water, a stable food supply, and renewable energy. Students are introduced to environmental issues and use the engineering design process to research and design potential solutions. Utilizing the activity-, project-, problem-based (APB) teaching and learning pedagogy, students transition from completing structured activities to solving open-ended projects and problems that require them to develop planning, documentation, communication, and other professional skills. 

    • AP Computer Science Essentials
      AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the central ideas of computer science, instilling the ideas and practices of computational thinking and inviting students to understand how computing changes the world. This course will focus on creativity and encourage students to apply creative processes when developing computational artifacts. Students will use technology and programming as a means to solve computational problems, creating exciting and personally relevant artifacts.