Project Lead The Way and Utah Schools: Transforming Classrooms Into Hives of Industry

in·dus·try (noun)

1.)    a particular form or branch of economic or commercial activity

2.)    hard work

September 23, 2014 - In the state of Utah, the word “industry” holds a steadfast significance.

Having served as the official state motto since 1959, “industry” takes on a dual meaning today: the first referring to Utah’s early pioneers, who had few resources at hand and thus relied on their own “industry” to survive, and the second referring to the state’s top areas of commerce, including aerospace and defense, IT, renewable resources, and health technology.

Across the state, students at Utah’s Project Lead The Way (PLTW) middle schools and high schools are experiencing the ultimate synthesis of these two definitions.

PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. We are also proud to be a CTE Project.

The organization’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum gives Utah students the opportunity to rely on their own industry: Students apply what they know, identify problems, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning, rather than act as passive recipients of information in a question-and-answer, right-or-wrong learning environment. 

In addition, PLTW’s curriculum, in conjunction with high-quality teacher professional development and engaged network of educators and corporate partners – including Weber State University, Instructure, Autoliv, and Autodesk  – helps Utah students develop the skills they need to contribute both to industry within the state, as well as the global economy.

With PLTW programs implemented in dozens of Utah high schools and middle schools, the Utah State Office of Education’s PLTW objectives include:

  • Increasing the number of young people who pursue engineering and engineering technology programs in four- and two-year post-secondary programs.
  • Providing equitable and inclusive opportunities for all academically qualified students.
  • Reducing the future college attrition rate in four- and two-year engineering and engineering technology programs.
  • Providing leadership and support that will produce continuous improvement and innovation in (STEM) programs.
  • Contributing to the continued vitality of the nation's prosperity.

PLTW is well-equipped and excited to help Utah reach those goals: Independent research studies show that PLTW students outperform their peers in school, are better prepared for post-secondary studies, and are more likely to consider careers as scientists, technology experts, engineers, mathematicians, healthcare providers, and researchers compared to their non-PLTW peers.

For more information on PLTW, please visit pltw.org