By: James Springer, Hayden Renaghan, Ariel Ruiz, and Emma Scharff
Project Lead the Way, a series of courses offered at Bethesda- Chevy Chase High School, will be adding the Engineering Design and Development course to the four currently offered for the 2018-2019 school year.
The PLTW classes offered this year are Intro to Engineering, Principles of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Digital Electronics. Our journalists spoke to Ms. Corey, who teaches Project Lead the Way courses this year. Because of the new class and overall expansion of the program at BCC, more teachers will begin teaching the courses next year.
We discussed which students the program would be best suited for, the jobs it could lead to, and the requirements needed to take the courses. Ms. Corey believes that the program is best for students interested in the primary focuses of PLTW- design and engineering. She said that the program allows students to see if they would like to pursue a career in engineering and prepares students for the rigors of being an engineering student. The program teaches skills like problem solving that every student can use, and for students who don’t want to commit to the full program, Intro to Engineering is a great option to try out the pathway.
These courses are a series, therefore they are prerequisites for each other. Real world problem-solving is a main focus of all of the courses, especially Engineering Design and Development, which is a very hands-on class. This focus allows students to be successful in engineering or any other field they wish to pursue. To take Introduction to Engineering, you must have received at least a C in Algebra 1. After Introduction to Engineering is completed, students can take Principles of Engineering followed by either Digital Electronics or Aerospace engineering. However, students can stop after any course in the program. Students can begin the program in any year of high school, but to complete the full pathway, students usually must be rising freshman. Interested rising sophomores or juniors can also talk to their counselors to modify their schedule so that they can complete the full pathway. Though the classes are not AP or IB, many colleges accept them for college credit if a high enough score is achieved on the final exam, which Project Lead the Way has for all of its courses. The Intro to Engineering class also counts as a tech credit.
If you are interested in registering for this challenging, enriching program, talk to your counselor or Ms. Corey by the end of the school year.