APRIL 2015 FEATURED SCHOOL
Fremont High School Sunnyvale, CA
Our IED students began the year learning and extensively using the Engineering Design Process in instant challenges and the Puzzle Cube Challenge. During the second semester, Mr. Koning, our IED teacher, has engaged our students in a Castle Project to showcase their many and varied skills in Autodesk Inventor. Our students are developing their skills in reverse engineering as well as statistics.
Our POE students have used our VEX system to physically understand the six simple machines of mechanical engineering, gears, chains & sprockets and belts & pulleys by building a Complex Machine Project. We have made measurements of current, voltage and resistance as we explored Ohm’s Law. We are currently exploring what civil engineers do to prepare safe structures such as bridges using trusses. In addition, our students researched the many disciplines of engineering through independent projects that have been shared through presentations to the class.
This is our first year of DE at Fremont. Students have explored the working of the fundamental combinatorial and sequential logic devices that electronics engineers use. Students in DE have created progressively more complex projects using an initial paper design that is confirmed using a computer-based simulation tool and finally the project is brought to life with actual circuits on a breadboard.
Most impressively, our students work collaboratively on projects in all of our classes – key 21st century skills. We have students from all four grade levels – freshman through seniors – in all three of the courses we offer. We have seen our program blossom from one IED class in each of our first two years to a total of 4 PLTW sections this year. We have also seen an increase in the diversity of our courses as the number of female students has risen from 12.5% of our students our first year to 22% this year.
In order to continue to expand the diversity of the students in our PLTW courses, we share our program with the community including an 8th grade open house, a course selection evening – supported by our SJSU Engineering Ambassadors – and two visits from a key feeder middle school during the school day so students could actually participate in the PLTW courses as they prepare to attend Fremont next fall. PLTW is alive and well at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale!
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This website provides Bay Area educators and counselors with local information about PLTW activity, keeps you informed about professional development opportunities, and provides a networking tool to link you with other Bay Area educators and counselors in the PLTW network.
What is PLTW?
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a nationally recongized STEM program addressing the Need for increasing the number of engineers to compete in global economic market. With the United States ranked 17th in Science and 25th in Mathematics and with over 1.2 million STEM-related jobs projected to go unfilled by 2018, PLTW is part of the solution by providing engineering and biomedial science curriculum to high school, middle schools and now, elementary schools.
PLTW is a hands-on, activities-project-problem-based (APPB) curriculum aligned with relevant national standards (e.g., Common Core). The program emphasizes critical thinking, creativity and real-world problem solving.
PLTW is one of the four organizations recognized for outstanding quality (Elite List of STEM organization). The only in-school STEM program offering a comprehensive professional development model for high school, middle school and elementary school teachers. PLTW had programs in more than 4700 and serving more than half a million students in all 50 states!