Iowa's PLTW Program History
From its early beginnings in up-state New York, Project Lead the Way has swept across the country in just 15 years. PLTW began in Iowa in 2005, with 10 schools implementing programs – seven high schools and three middle schools. In eight short years, Iowa climbed to the 11th largest PLTW affiliate in the country and currently has 196 total schools and has impacted thousands of students in the state!
PLTW Iowa Timeline
- PLTW launches the Pathway To Engineering curriculum at 12 New York high schools.
- PLTW becomes a national program by adding two New Hampshire schools.
- PLTW launches the Gateway To Technology (GTT) program for middle schools.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) partners with PLTW.
- The U.S. Department of Education recommends PLTW as an exemplary program.
- The University of Iowa and Iowa State University are named as PLTW affiliates.
- PLTW is introduced to Iowa students at 10 schools.
- College credit is offered by The University of Iowa to students completing certain PLTW classes.
- A PLTW Student Symposium is held for PLTW high schools, and scholarships and other awards are earned by high school students.
- College credit is offered by Iowa State University to students completing certain PLTW classes.
- A second PLTW Student Symposium is held for PLTW high schools at ISU, and scholarships and other awards are earned by high school students.
- College credit is offered by Kirkwood Community College to students completing PLTW classes. Since 2008, 10 other Iowa community colleges have been offering college credit for the completion of PLTW classes.
- PLTW Biomedical Sciences program is introduced.
- South Dakota is the 50th state to join the PLTW Network.
- The Kern Family Foundation (KFF) makes a major financial commitment to expand the PLTW program in Iowa. KFF has made a positive impact on education in Iowa through its PLTW support.
- PLTW is recognized as a successful model of STEM education and is included in a listing of exemplary STEM education programs through Change the Equation's (CTEq) STEMworks Database. CTEq is a non-profit organization devoted to fostering widespread STEM literacy.
- A new course for Pathway To Engineering and a new unit for Gateway To Technology are being developed!
Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE) will be a new course in the Pathway To Engineering (PTE) program. Content will be piloted during the 2013-14 school year with availability to the network for the 2014-15 school year. If you would like to participate in course development or be part of the pilot, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medical Detectives (MD) The eighth unit for Gateway To Technology will capture student interest in topics associated with PLTW's Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program. The unit is being developed and will be field tested in spring 2013. Core training opportunities will be available in the summer of 2013 in order to implement the unit for the 2013-14 school year. If you would like to provide input or be part of the pilot, email email@example.com.
A plan to create STEM learning experiences for elementary students is also underway!
PLTW for the Future
The PLTW curriculum is available to students by virtue of educating teachers in this hands-on curriculum. The hands-on approach is the single most important element responsible for the great success of PLTW. The U.S. will need scientists and engineers in its effort to compete in a global economy. Today, PLTW is endorsed by national associations, belongs to educational partnerships, can rely on strong government relationships and employs its own marketing and communications group to produce its educational materials.