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Project Lead The Way
Middle School Courses

Project Lead The Way's Gateway To Technology (GTT), is a cutting-edge program that addresses the interests and energy of middle school students, while incorporating national standards in math, science and technology. The GTT curriculum provides project-based learning—a hands-on approach--that is exciting and fun for the full-range of students in middle school classrooms and that relates technology to students' daily lives. It also promotes communication and collaboration by emphasizing a teaming approach in the instructional units. This approach utilizes the strengths of each team member to accomplish the goals of the project, while offering students learning challenges at all ability levels. The six instructional units excite and motivate students to use their imaginations and teach them to be creative and innovative, while gaining skills.

GTT consists of seven independent units that should be taught in conjunction with a rigorous academic curriculum. The units are designed to challenge and engage the  minds of middle school students. Each 9-week unit includes performance objectives and suggested assessment methods.

Foundation Units

Automation and Robotics (AR)

Students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation and computer control systems. Students use a robust robotics platform to design, build and program a solution to solve an existing problem.

Design and Modeling (DM)

In this unit, students begin to recognize the value of an engineering notebook to document and capture their ideas. They are introduced to and use the design process to solve problems and understand the influence that creative and innovative design has on our lives. Students use industry standard 3D modeling software to create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their creative solutions.

Specialization Units

Energy and the Environment (EE)

Students investigate the importance of energy in our lives and the impact energy use has on the environment. They design and model alternative energy sources and participate in an energy expo to demonstrate energy concepts and innovative ideas. Students evaluate ways to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency and waste management techniques.

Flight and Space (FS)

The rich history of aerospace comes alive through hands-on activities, research, and a presentation in the form of a short informational video. Students explore the science behind aeronautics and use their knowledge to design, build and test an airfoil. Custom-built simulation software allows students to experience space travel.

Green Architecture (GA)

In a world of reduced resources and environmental challenges, it is important to present the concept of “being green” to the next generation of designers and builders. In this unit, students are introduced to architectural plans, construction styles, alternative materials and processes, dimensioning, measuring and architectural sustainability. Students use a 3D architectural software program to create an environmentally friendly home using shipping containers.

Magic of Electrons (ME)

Through hands-on projects, students explore the science of electricity, the behavior and parts of atoms, circuit design and sensing devices. Students acquire knowledge and skills in basic circuitry design and explore the impact of electricity on their lives.

Science of Technology (ST)

How has science affected technology throughout history? To answer this question students apply the concepts in physics, chemistry and nanotechnology to STEM activities and projects.


(Course descriptions are from PLTW website. For additional information, visit the PLTW website.