With careful precision, Stiles Middle School Project Lead the Way/Gateway students put engineering skills to practice in a class project. These real-world engineering skills include measurement, orthographic sketches and dimensioning guidelines. For this project, the students are building “skimmers.” If built accurately, the devices will travel over 40 feet across the ground when launched.

For the 2016-2017 school year, Stiles MS added a PLTW/Gateway2 class to provide for the increasing student interest in the program. Students begin in PLTW/Gateway1 where they learn design and modeling; automation and robotics; and science and technology. As second-year PLTW/Gateway students, they dive further into medical studies, physics, chemistry and nanotechnology.

Monica Walker, PLTW/Gateway teacher at Stiles MS, said she believes the class offers students the opportunity to engage in problem-solving related to real-world challenges.

“Gateway is an opportunity for students to start becoming familiar with Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) fields,” Walker said. “Having this familiarity may help pave the way for selecting high school coursework and maybe even a career.”