Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Program
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Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Program

PLTW Gateway Program

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Gateway To Technology's (GTT) cutting-edge program addresses the interest and energy of middle school students, while incorporating national standards in math, science and technology. GTT is "activity oriented" to show students how technology is used in engineering to solve everyday problems. The five instructional units excite and motivate students to use their imaginations and teach them to be creative and innovative, while gaining the skills they need to develop, produce and use products and services. The GTT curriculum provides project-based hands-on approach--that is exciting and fun for the full-range of students in today's grade 6 8 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 math, science, and technology integrated GTT program helps students develop and hone skills in middle school that enable them to enter the high school program with foundation knowledge and skills for success in pre-engineering. Although not intended as an introduction to the PLTW pre-engineering high school program, many schools report improved interest in the high school program because of Gateway To Technology. Gateway To Technology consists of five independent units that should be taught in conjunction with a rigorous academic curriculum. The units are designed to challenge and engage the exploratory minds of middle school students. Each 9-week unit contains performance objectives and suggested assessment methods.

The five units are:

  • Design and Modeling: This unit uses solid modeling (a very sophisticated mathematical technique for representing solid objects) to introduce students to the design process. Utilizing this design approach, students understand how solid modeling has influenced their lives. Students also learn sketching techniques, and use descriptive geometry as a component of design, measurement, and computer modeling. Using design briefs or abstracts, students create models and documentation to solve problems.
  • The Magic of Electrons: Through hands-on projects, students explore the science of electricity, the movement of atoms, circuit design, and sensing devices. Students acquire knowledge and skills in basic circuitry design and explore the impact of electricity on our lives.
  • The Science of Technology: This unit traces how science has affected technology throughout history. Students learn about the mechanics of motion, the conversion of energy, and the use of science to improve communication.
  • Automation and Robotics: Students trace the history and development of automation and robotics. They learn about structures, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students acquire knowledge and skills in engineering problem solving and explore requirements for careers in engineering. Flight and Space The purpose of this unit is to introduce the student to aeronautics, space, and the use of design used to help make aerospace engineering an important field. They learn about Newton's Laws of Motion, forces, rockets, propulsion, and what makes things fly. Students acquire and apply knowledge and skills in engineering problem solving and explore the many aspects of aerospace engineering.

Learn more about the PLTW Gateway Program.