Project Lead The Way (PLTW)

Scholars working on engineering project

The Career and Technology Education Department at the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science consists of the following Academic areas:

PLTW Engineering

Each PLTW Engineering course engages scholars in interdisciplinary activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, or exploring algae as a biofuel source. These activities not only build knowledge and skills in engineering, but also empower scholars to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance. PLTW Engineering empowers scholars to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers.

Course Name Course Description
Introduction to Engineering Design


Scholars dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3D modeling software, and use an engineering notebook to document their work
Principles of Engineering

Prerequisite: Introduction to Engineering Design


Through problems that engage and challenge, scholars explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Scholars develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.
Digital Electronics

Prerequisite: Introduction to Engineering (IED), Principles of Engineering (POE) or Teacher Recommendation


From smartphones to appliances, digital circuits are all around us. This course provides a foundation for scholars who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Scholars study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices
Civil Engineering and Architecture

Prerequisite: Introduction to Engineering (IED), Principles of Engineering (POE) or Teacher Recommendation

Scholars learn important aspects of building and site design and development. They apply math, science, and standard engineering practices to design both residential and commercial projects and document their work using 3D architecture design software.

PLTW Biomedical Science

Whether discovering new cancer treatments or teaching healthy lifestyle choices to their communities, today’s biomedical science professionals are tackling big challenges to make the world a better place.  PLTW Biomedical Science scholars are taking on these same real-world challenges – and they’re doing it before they even graduate from high school. Working with the same tools used by professionals in hospitals and labs, scholars engage in compelling, hands-on activities and work together to find solutions to problems. Scholars take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

Courses Course Description
Principles of Biomedical Science


In the introductory course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, scholars explore concepts of biology and medicine to determine factors that led to the death of a fictional person. While investigating the case, scholars examine autopsy reports, investigate medical history, and explore medical treatments that might have prolonged the person’s life. The activities and projects introduce scholars to human physiology, basic biology, medicine, and research processes while allowing them to design their own experiments to solve problems
Human Body Systems
Prerequisite: Principles of Biomedical Science
Scholars examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Exploring science in action, scholars build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration; and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases
Medical Interventions

Prerequisite: Human Body Systems and Principles of Biomedical Science


Scholars follow the life of a fictitious family as they investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Scholars explore how to detect and fight infection; screen and evaluate the code in human DNA; evaluate cancer treatment options; and prevail when the organs of the body begin to fail. Through real world cases, scholars are exposed to a range of interventions related to immunology, surgery, genetics, pharmacology, medical devices, and diagnostics.
Biomedical Innovations

Prerequisite: Human Body Systems, Principles of Biomedical Science and Medical Interventions

In the final course of the PLTW Biomedical Science sequence, scholars build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. Scholars address topics ranging from public health and biomedical engineering to
clinical medicine and physiology. They have the opportunity to work on an independent design project with a mentor or advisor from a university, medical facility, or research institution.