Middle school is a time of exploration, a time when students are figuring out what they’re passionate about today and how that relates to who they’ll become tomorrow.
During this transitional time, PLTW Gateway’s 10 units empower students to lead their own discovery. The hands-on program boosts classroom engagement and excitement, drives collaboration, and inspires “aha! moments” and deep comprehension. And as students engage in PLTW’s activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, they see range of paths and possibilities they can look forward to in high school and beyond.
Design and Modeling
Students discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They are then challenged and empowered to use and apply what they’ve learned throughout the unit to design a therapeutic toy for a child who has cerebral palsy.
Automation and Robotics
Students learn about the history and impact of automation and robotics as they explore mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Using the VEX Robotics® platform, students apply what they know to design and program traffic lights, robotic arms, and more.
This unit will expose students to computer science as a means of computationally analyzing and developing solutions to authentic problems through mobile app development, and will convey the positive impact of the application of computer science to other disciplines and to society.
Computer Science for Innovators and Makers
Throughout the unit, students will learn about programming for the physical world by blending hardware design and software development, allowing students to discover computer science concepts and skills by creating personally relevant, tangible, and shareable projects.
Energy and the Environment
Students are challenged to think big and toward the future as they explore sustainable solutions to our energy needs and investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the world. They use what they’ve learned to design and model alternative energy sources, as well as evaluate options for reducing energy consumption.
Flight and Space
The exciting world of aerospace comes alive through Flight and Space. Students explore the science behind aeronautics and use their knowledge to design, build, and test an airfoil.
Science of Technology
Science impacts the technology of yesterday, today, and the future. In this unit, students apply the concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to activities and projects, including making ice cream, cleaning up an oil spill, and discovering the properties of nano-materials.
Magic of Electrons
In this unit, students examine the behavior and parts of atoms as well as the impact of electricity on the world around them. They learn skills in basic circuitry design and use what they know to propose designs such as a burglar alarm for an art museum.
In this unit, students learn how to apply green concepts to the fields of architecture and construction. They explore dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability and apply what they have learned to design affordable housing units using Autodesk’s® 3D architectural design software.
Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.
Course descriptions are from PLTW website. For additional information, visit the PLTW website.