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.

PLTW Computer Science

The program’s interdisciplinary courses engage scholars in compelling, real-world challenges. As scholars work together to design solutions, they learn computational thinking – not just how to code – and become better thinkers and communicators. 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. PLTW Computer Science courses are part of the AP + PLTW computer science pathway. Whether building apps to meet client needs or exploring cybersecurity, PLTW Computer Science engages scholars in interdisciplinary activities that not only build knowledge and skills in computer science, but also empower scholars to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance. The program’s courses empower scholars with in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they choose.

Courses Course Description
Computer Science Essentials Scholars will experience the major topics, big ideas, and computational thinking practices used by computing professionals to solve problems and create value for others. This course will empower scholars to develop computational thinking skills while building confidence that prepares them to advance to Computer Science Principles and Computer Science A.

Computer Science Principles (CSP)

(May be taken as AP level, but extended work must be completed)

Using Python® as a primary tool, scholars explore and become inspired by career paths that utilize computing, discover tools that foster creativity and collaboration, and use what they’ve learned to tackle challenges like app development and simulation. This course is endorsed by the College Board, giving scholars the opportunity to take the AP CSP exam for college credit.

Computer Science A

Prerequisite: Computer Science Principles

(May be taken as AP level)

Scholars collaborate to create original solutions to problems of their own choosing by designing and implementing user interfaces and Web-based databases, as well as creating a game for their friends or an app to serve a real need in their community. This course is aligned to the AP CSA framework.
Cybersecurity Whether seeking a career in the growing field of cybersecurity or learning to defend their own personal data or a company’s data, scholars in Cybersecurity establish an ethical code of conduct while learning to defend data in today’s complex cyber world.