Project Lead The Way

What is Project Lead The Way?

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Project Lead the Way Launch ignites interest and confidence in STEM in kindergarten through fifth grade.  The curriculum includes hands-on, exciting, and engaging lessons that allow children to explore STEM.  Listed are the modules that each grade will be doing this year!

Kindergarten:

  • Structure and function:  Exploring Design - Students discover the design process and how engineers influence their lives.  They explore the elements of structure and function by identifying products around them designed by engineers and asking questions engineers might ask.  They are introduced to a design problem through a story in which Angelina wants to design a paintbrush.  Students apply their knowledge from the module to design their own paintbrushes.
  • Structure and Function:  Human Body -  Students explore the relationship between structure and function in the human body. They examine major organs within the body an investigate how the structure of each is related to its function.  Students are introduced to the design problem through a story in which Angelina falls of the monkey bars and breaks her arm.  Students learn about the diagnosis and treatment of her injury and then work to design and build a cast for Angelina.

First Grade:

  • Light and Sound - Students investigate the properties of light and sound, including vibration from sound waves and the effect of different material on the path o a beam of light.  After students develop an understanding of light and sound, they are challenges to solve a design problem Mylo, Suzi, and Angelina face.  In the story, the characters are lost and must use only the materials in their backpack to communicate over a distance by using light and/or sound.  Students use the design process to sketch, build, test, and reflect on a device that solves this design problem.

Second Grade:

  • Materials Science: properties of Matter - students investigate and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties, including color and texture.  They learn about states of matter and properties of materials including insulators and conductors.  In the design problem, Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi, are challenged to keep ice pops cold during a soccer game.- without a cooler. Students apply their knowledge and skills to determine the best material to solve this design problem and then evaluate how their designs might be improved.
  • The Changing Earth - Students explore how the surface of the Earth is always changing.  They are introduced to different types of maps and explore how these maps convey different information about the world in which we live, including where water is found on earth.  Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi introduce the design problem when faced with the challenge of helping a community threatened by a potential landslide.  Students investigate the different forces that shape the surface of the Earth and design solutions to limit the impact of erosion on this fictional community, which is located at the bottom of a hill that was recently destabilized by a fire.

Third Grade:

  • Variation of Traits- Students investigate the differences between inherited genetic traits and traits learned or influenced by the environment.  they explore the phenomena that offspring may express different traits than parents as they learn about dominant and recessive genes and also investigate how predicted outcomes compare to experimental results.  Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi introduce the design problem when challenged to examine different traits found in thee sets of seeds.  Students then model how the gene for stem color is passed on and expressed among sample sets.

Fourth Grade:

  • Energy: Collisions -Students explore the properties of mechanisms and how they change energy by transferring direction, speed, type of movement, and force.  Students discover a variety of way  potential energy can be stored and released as kinetic energy.  They explain the relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of that object, as well as predict the transfer of energy as a result of a collision between two objects.   The design problem is introduced by Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi watching amusement park bumper cars collide.  AS students solve the problem foe this module, they apply their knowledge and skills to develop a vehicle restraint system.

Fifth Grade:

  • Robotics and Automation -  Students explore the ways robots are used in today's world and their impact on society and the environment.  Students learn about a variety of robotic components as they build and test mobile robots that may be controlled remotely.  Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi are tasked with designing a mobile robot  that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site.  Students are then challenged to design, model, and test a mobile robot that solves this design problem.
  • Robotics and Automation: Challenge - Students expand their understanding of robotics as they explore mechanical design and computer programming.  This module focuses on developing skills needed to build and program autonomous robots.  Angelina, Mylo, and Suzi are tasked with a designing an automatic-guided vehicle to deliver supplies to a specific area in a hospital without being remotely controlled by a person.  Inspired by this design problem, students work with a group to apply their knowledge to design, build, test, and refine a mobile robot that meets a set of design constraints.

Sixth Grade- 8th Grade

  • Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives.  They work in teams to design a therapeutic toy for children with cerebral palsy, capturing research and ideas in their engineering notebooks.  Using GeoGebra, Autodesk 123D Design and Open Sim software, students will work through the entire process to create a virtual image and real life model of their designs.  The finished portfolio will showcase their innovative solutions to real-world challenges.