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Project Lead the Way

PLTW/STEM Events for 2018-19

Date Event Location
2018 - Fall Annual Automotive Fair Pulaski High School
2018 - Oct 17 IFAIR Washington High School of Information Technology
2018 - Nov 3 Engineer the Future  
2018 - Dec 12 STEM Partners Meeting  
2019 - Feb 9 FIRST®  LEGO® League Competition Golda Meir School, Upper Campus
2019 - Feb 23 Girls in Engineering  
2019 - Feb 27 Boys in Engineering  
2019 - Spring Manufacturing Day Rockwell Automation's "Automation Fair!"
2019 - May 2 STEM Partners Showcase Direct Supply

Gaenslen students display their work Pulaski StudentsSouth Division PLTW





Project Lead the Way, a nationally established program, focuses on preparing the future technical and engineering workforce. PLTW offers curriculums for elementary school (PLTW Launch), middle school (PLTW Gateway), and high school (PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, and PLTW Computer Science). Through PLTW, MPS students have the opportunity to explore STEM education – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – through a fully developed curriculum intended to stimulate interest in various fields of technology.

Project Lead the Way in MPS

PLTW allows MPS to systematize and coordinate engineering as a focal point for STEM education. The program, built on national standards and linkages to postsecondary opportunities, is benchmarked to state standards.

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  • 38 schools, 8,987 students in school year 2018-19, grades 6-12
  • 88% children of color
  • 47% females
  • Female student participation rates in PLTW exceed national, state, and district rates for participation in STEM education by as much as 26%.
  PLTW Offerings
  • Project-based courses meeting national science, mathematics, and literacy standards
  • Teacher and counselor training
  • Equipment specifications
  • 21st-century software
  • Postsecondary articulation
  • Strong support structure
  • National recognition
  • Proven record of performance
  Recent Studies of PLTW in MPS
  • PLTW students take more math credits as seniors than non-PLTW peers (UW-Madison Center on Education and Work, Dr. A. Phelps, 2009).
  • High school PLTW students have higher attendance rates than non-PLTW peers (Phelps).
  • On the Wisconsin Career Assessment, over 50% of PLTW students chose the STEM career cluster (UW-Milwaukee study, Drs. S. White and J. Heywood, 2007-10).
  • PLTW students take the ACT at a greater rate than their non-PLTW peers (Phelps).
  • PLTW students are more likely to score "proficient" on their grade 10 WKCE tests than their non-PLTW peers (Phelps).
  • Over three years, PLTW appears to reduce and eliminate gaps in educational achievement and attendance at entry into middle school (White).
  • Accessibility of the curriculum to non-engineering teachers through ongoing professional development and support is a major advantage.
  MPS District Goals for PLTW
  • Increase test scores, particularly in math and science, in PLTW schools.
  • Increase number of MPS students entering postsecondary STEM programs.
  • Increase number of MPS students entering any postsecondary program.
  • Increase graduation rates in PLTW schools.
  • Raise career awareness of STEM fields among parents and students.
  • Strengthen career education programs in middle and high schools.

High School PLTW Engineering

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  MPS High Schools that Offer PLTW Engineering

In PLTW Engineering, high school students engage in open-ended problem solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same industry-leading technology and software as are used in the world’s top companies.

  1. Bay View High School
    1. Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
    2. Principles of Engineering (POE)
    3. Digital Electronics (DE)
  2. Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade High School
    1. Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
    2. Principles of Engineering (POE)
    3. Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA)
    4. Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
    5. Digital Electronics (DE)
    6. Engineering Design and Development (EDD)
  3. Alexander Hamilton High School
    1. Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
    2. Principles of Engineering (POE)
    3. Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA)
    4. Digital Electronics (DE)
    5. Engineering Design and Development (EDD)
  4. Golda Meir School
    1. Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
    2. Principles of Engineering (POE)
    3. Aerospace Engineering (AE)
  5. Milwaukee High School of the Arts 
    1. Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA)
    2. Environmental Sustainability (ES)
  6. Milwaukee Marshall High School
    1. Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
    2. Principles of Engineering (POE)
    3. Environmental Sustainability (ES)
  7. Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education
    1. Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
    2. Principles of Engineering (POE)
    3. Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
  8. Riverside University High School
    1. Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
    2. Principles of Engineering (POE)
    3. Digital Electronics (DE)
  9. Washington High School of Information Technology
    1. Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)
    2. Principles of Engineering (POE)
    3. Digital Electronics (DE)
    4. Computer Science Principles (CSP)
  PLTW Engineering Courses

Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)

Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects like designing a new toy or improving an existing product.

Principles of Engineering (POE)

Students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, strength of structure and materials, and automation, and then they apply what they know to take on challenges like designing a self-powered car.

Aerospace Engineering (AE)

Students explore the physics of flight and bring what they’re learning to life through hands-on projects like designing a glider and creating a program for an autonomous space rover.

Civil Engineering and Architecture (CEA)

Students learn important aspects of building and site design and development, and then they apply what they know to design a commercial building.

Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

Students discover and explore manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation, and then they apply what they have learned to design solutions for real-world manufacturing problems. 

Computer Science Principles (CSP)

Using Python® as a primary tool, students develop computational-thinking skills and tackle challenges like designing apps to solve real-world problems for clients. 

Digital Electronics (DE)

Students explore the foundations of computing by engaging in circuit design processes to create combinational logic and sequential logic (memory) as electrical engineers do in industry.

Environmental Sustainability (ES)

Students investigate and design solutions in response to real-world challenges related to clean and abundant drinking water, food supply, and renewable energy. 

Capstone Course  Engineering Design and Development (EDD)

Students identify a real-world challenge and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their unique solutions to a panel of engineers.

High School – PLTW Biomedical Science

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  MPS High Schools that Offer PLTW Biomedical Science

In PLTW Biomedical Science, high school students build knowledge and skills working with the same tools used by professionals in hospitals and labs while they develop problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, and collaboration.

  1. Alexander Hamilton High School
    1. Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS)
    2. Human and Body Systems (HBS)
    3. Medical Interventions (MI)
  2. Milwaukee Marshall High School
    1. Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS)
    2. Human and Body Systems (HBS)
  3. Casimir Pulaski High School
    1. Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS)
    2. Human and Body Systems (HBS)
  4. Riverside University High School
    1. Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS)
    2. Human and Body Systems (HBS)
    3. Medical Interventions (MI)
    4. Biomedical Innovation (BI)
  5. South Division High School
    1. Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS)
    2. Human and Body Systems (HBS)
    3. Medical Interventions (MI)
  PLTW Biomedical Science Courses

Principles of Biomedical Science (PBS)

By engaging in activities like dissecting a sheep heart, students explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. 

Human Body Systems (HBS)

Through projects such as determining the identity of a skeleton using both forensic anthropology and DNA analysis, students examine the interactions of human body systems and apply what they know to solve real-world medical cases.

Medical Interventions (MI)

Students delve into activities like designing a prosthetic arm as they follow the life of a fictitious family and investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.

Capstone Course  Biomedical Innovation (BI)

Students build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design their own innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. They have the opportunity to work on an independent project with a mentor or advisor from a university, medical facility, or research institution.

  Program Research

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that eight of the twenty careers with the highest demand for employees in the next decade will be in the healthcare sector. The health services sector is projected to grow more than any other industry. Our nation’s aging population, combined with longer life expectancies and rapidly advancing technology, has created a growing demand for highly skilled professionals in a broad spectrum of health care and science careers. These include paramedics, biomedical engineers, medical illustrators, occupational and physical therapists, medical physicists, scientific and pharmaceutical researchers, forensic scientists, physicians, nurses, and radiological and surgical technicians.

To better prepare today’s youth for the challenges of the healthcare field, Milwaukee Public Schools has launched Growing Talent for Biomedical Science Careers with the new biomedical science curriculum from Project Lead the Way (PLTW). The PLTW Biomedical Science program parallels the proven PLTW engineering curriculum. The sequence of high school courses includes four courses, all aligned with the appropriate national learning standards: Principals of Biomedical Science, Human Body Systems, Medical Interventions, and the Biomedical Innovation capstone course. The program uses a combination of activity-, project-, and problem-based (APPB) learning styles to engage students. APPB learning creates an exciting environment where the possibilities of a medical field come to life, and it also teaches students to solve problems, conduct research, understand real-world problems, and analyze data.

The rigorous and relevant four-course PLTW Biomedical Science sequence allows students to investigate the roles of biomedical professionals as they study the concepts of human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. Students examine the structures and interactions of human body systems and explore the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, all while working collaboratively to understand and design solutions to the most pressing health challenges of today and the future.

Middle School – Gateway

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  MPS Middle Schools that Offer PLTW Gateway

Middle schools use engineering and biomedical science curriculums that challenge, inspire, and offer students and schools variety and flexibility.

  1. Audubon Technology and Communication Center Middle School
  2. Cass Street School
  3. Clarke Street School
  4. Congress School
  5. James Fenimore Cooper School
  6. Fairview School
  7. Benjamin Franklin School
  8. Frederick J. Gaenslen School
  9. Hayes Bilingual School
  10. Oliver Wendell Holmes School
  11. Humboldt Park School
  12. Rufus King International Middle School
  13. La Causa Charter School
  14. Lincoln Center of the Arts
  15. Golda Meir School
  16. Milwaukee Sign Language School
  17. Morse Middle School for the Gifted and Talented
  18. Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education
  19. Rogers Street Academy
  20. Escuela Vieau
  21. Wedgewood Park International School
  PLTW Gateway Courses

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.

App Creators

Students will learn about computer science as a means of computationally analyzing and developing solutions to authentic problems through mobile app development, and they will convey the positive impact of the application of computer science to other disciplines and to society.

Computer Science for Innovators and Makers

Students will learn about programming for the physical world by blending hardware design and software development, allowing them 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. 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

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.

Green Architecture

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.

Medical Detectives

Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they collect and analyze medical data to diagnose disease. They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, measure and interpret vital signs, dissect a sheep brain, investigate disease outbreaks, and explore how a breakdown within the human body can lead to dysfunction.

Elementary School – Launch

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  MPS Elementary Schools that Offer PLTW Launch

Each PLTW Launch module engages students in cross-disciplinary activities that spark a lifelong love of learning and build knowledge and skills in areas including computer science, engineering, and biomedical science.

  1. William Cullen Bryant School
  2. Fairview School
  3. Forest Home Avenue School
  4. Oliver Wendell Holmes School
  5. Humboldt Park School
  6. La Causa Charter School
  7. Neeskara School
  8. Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education
  9. Rogers Street Academy
  10. Siefert School
  11. Escuela Vieau
  12. Walt Whitman School
  13. Clement J. Zablocki School
  PLTW Launch Courses

Aligned to Kindergarten Standards

Structure and Function: Exploring Design

Students discover the design process, identify products around them designed by engineers, and use what they’ve learned to design their own paintbrushes.

Pushes and Pulls

Students investigate different pushes and pulls and apply what they know to a swing-set installation project.

Structure and Function: Human Body

Students explore the relationship between structure and function in the human body and then design a cast.

Animals and Algorithms

Students explore the ways people control and use technology as well as program their own digital animations.


Aligned to First Grade Standards

Light and Sound

Students investigate light and sound and then design a tool to communicate over a distance.

Light: Observing the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Students build upon their knowledge of light and then design a playground structure that protects students from UV radiation.

Animal Adaptations

Students learn about animal adaptations and apply what they’ve learned to design a shoe made for desert exploration.

Animated Storytelling

Students build computational-thinking skills by creating animations based on their own short stories. 


Aligned to Second Grade Standards

Materials Science: Properties of Matter

Students explore materials science and devise a way to keep popsicles cold – without a cooler.

Materials Science: Form and Function

Students research the variety of ways that animals disperse seeds and pollinate plants and then use what they know to design a gardening device.

The Changing Earth

Students explore how the surface of the Earth is always changing and then design solutions for a fictional community threatened by a landslide.

Grids and Game

Students learn about the sequence and structure required in computer programs and work in teams to build tablet games.


Aligned to Third Grade Standards

Stability and Motion: Science of Flight

Students learn about the forces involved in flight and then design a solution to deliver aid supplies via an aircraft.

Stability and Motion: Forces and Interactions

Students explore simple machines such as wheel and axles, levers, the inclined plane, and more and then use what they know to rescue a trapped zoo animal.

Variation of Traits

Students investigate the differences between inherited genetic traits and traits that are learned or influenced by the environment and then model how the gene for a plant’s stem color is passed on.

Programming Patterns

Students discover the power of modularity and abstraction and then use what they know to create a video game for a tablet.


Aligned to Fourth Grade Standards

Energy: Collisions

Students investigate how mechanisms change energy by transferring direction, speed, type of movement, and force and then use what they know to design a car safety belt.

Energy: Conversion

Students learn how energy can be converted to meet a human need or want and then develop solutions to move donated food from a truck to a food pantry.

Input/Output: Computer Systems

Students explore how computers work and then create a reaction-time computer program to assess a baseline before a concussion occurs.

Input/Output: Human Brain

Students learn about stimuli and responses and then use what they know to create a video to teach children about concussions.


Aligned to Fifth Grade Standards

Robotics and Automation

Students explore the ways robots are used in today’s world and then design a mobile robot that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site.

Robotics and Automation: Challenge

Students explore mechanical design and computer programming and then design an automatic-guided vehicle to deliver supplies in a hospital.

Infection: Detection

Students explore the transmission of infection and run an experiment to help find ways to prevent the spread of illness.

Infection: Modeling and Simulation

Students investigate models and simulations and apply their knowledge to program a model that simulates the spread of infections. 


STEM Curriculum Specialist

Antonio Rodríguez
Office: 414-475-8202
Phone: 414-475-8255
Fax: 414-475-8250

PLTW Classroom Coach

Ulices Sepúlveda
Phone: 414-475-8794
Fax: 414-475-8250

Career and Technical Education Manager

Eric Radomski
Office:  414-475-8202
Phone: 414-475-8391
Fax: 414-475-8250

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