Bloomingdale Middle and High School stands poised to take a big leap in its efforts to prepare kids to compete in the global economy. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, Bloomingdale Middle and High School will offer Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering courses to its high school students. The goal of the Project Lead the Way program is to “give students access to real-world applied learning experiences that they will need to thrive in college, their careers, and beyond.” The courses focus on the use of Computer Aided Drafting software to help students work through the design process and experience first-hand how employees collaborate to solve engineering problems. Bloomingdale will join over 100 schools in the state of Michigan that offer PLTW courses, and it will be one of only of a handful of schools in Van Buren County to offer the program. The PLTW courses will be part of an engineering pathway. The first course to be added will be Introduction to Engineering Design (IED). A select group of freshman students, as well as some upperclassmen, will have the opportunity to take this CAD-based class that includes such projects as designing a new toy. An added benefit of taking this class is that it will count towards a student’s 3 credits of science required for graduation. The following year, students then move on to take Principles of Engineering (POE), a class in which they explore the various engineering fields and get hands-on experience with designing a self-powered car. Students will then have the option to take the capstone course that is offered at the Van Buren Technology Center. With the addition of the PLTW program, Bloomingdale continues its effort to graduate students ready to be employed in the 21st century workplace.
Some information in this article was found at pltw.org.