Project: Spring 2016 Wentzville, MO Project Lead The Way

Project Plan
Unique Requests of
Participating Mentors:

These students are part of a new Project Lead The Way program at the middle school level in the Wentzville School District in Wenztville, MO. Mentors will be providing support and encouragement for students to explore career areas related to their work as well as support for the PLTW program. We are just beginning the process of having mentors so any feedback is greatly appreciated.


Middle school students in the Wentzville School District will receive support from mentors to research STEM careers related to their work in the Project Lead The Way program as well as support for the projects they are working on. Students will share, through an iterative process, their PLTW efforts and learn how to collaborate with a professional and attain a host of 21st Century skills. The outline for the January to May semester is below. We run PLTW classes by the semester, every other day with an A day B day schedule. This will be the entire curriculum for the students. The students from 1st semester will not return to specific class. Day 1~5. Students learn the design process. Team up and create a piece of unique furniture that serves a specific population with special needs. We may then make it on the 3D printer. The printer is somewhat temperamental (that or I'm just not that good with it yet) so this piece may come up missing. The big idea is students begin to recognize their strengths as well as the strengths of those in their group. Also this is the 1st introduction to the design process overall. Understanding the design process and the students using the design process through out the course is heavily emphasized in PLTW. Day 6~12 Students are introduced to the Vex robotics kit and robotic pieces. We review the purpose of robots and discuss the types of robots. We then do an activity on the different careers that use robotics and how the robots are used in each field. The purpose of this is to break down what the students believe a robot to be. Several imagine a walking humanoid not an assembly line with sensors. Day 13~18 Students learn all of the different types of gears and why we have them. They do this with a hands on approach of actually building the individual gears of each kind. They are also responsible for coming up with small quick scenarios where each type of gear would be useful/needed. Day 19-23 Students build a pull toy that must roll along the floor when pulled on a string. It must use at least 2 gears that then make another portion of it move in a direction other than the forward motion it is being pulled. It can be anything from a dog with a wagging tail to a space ship with multiple moving parts. The more complicated the better. Day 24-29 Students build test beds which are stages with the different parts of a robot attached to help them understand how each part works. There are multiple sensors and motors attached to 2 separate wheels and a claw. All inter-connected so they can communicate if programmed properly. They then begin learning to write pseudocode (Robot C's name for the green code that explains what the students are trying to accomplish with the regular code). Students then start programming their robot test beds to perform simple task. For example make one wheel spin forward for 5 seconds and stop when a sensor is activiated. Each program is checked for accuracy before they may move on to the next. Day 30-38 Students now are responsible for building a part of a factory assembly line that performs a specific task. A block that is cut into a specific shape must pass from one groups assembly line to the next. This is a group project. They then must program the factory part to specific criteria. Now the students must make all the pieces of the assembly line work together. Finally the students will show how the assembly line works after the entire class has coordinated it.


Students will identify careers to research; student will demonstrate ability to locate, identify, and interpret information; will generate choices and make career decisions based upon interests, abilities and values; students will design realistic education and career action plan to reach desired goal. The student will summarize the information gathered from the mentoring process in a portfolio, or a written report; this will be presented at the end of the session.



Grade Level:


Content Area:

Project Lead The Way - Career and Education Planning

Student Outcomes:

Career and Education Planning - Research, planning for high school, understanding what it takes to be competitive in the field they are interested in. They should also have a basic understanding of programming.

Evaluation of
Student Outcomes:

Students will use the project tracking system to evaluate their attainment of project outcomes. The student will complete an evaluation form about the telementoring project. The student and the mentor will evaluate their telementoring experience and provide recommendations for improving the project.

Teacher Role:

The teacher will act as the facilitator for the project and wil monitor and supervise the telementoring relationship, ensuring the students are communicating twice a week with their mentors and making progress with the telementor project as outlined by the teacher. We will attempt to meet this goal however the students only have this class every other day. This means there will be times they only have the class twice in a week so there may be little for them to report compared to a class that meets daily. The teacher will also provide a weekly update for the mentors by Tuesday of each week.

Mentor Role:

Mentors are asked to maintain communication 2 times a week with the student; to act as advisor and provide encouragement and career awareness and collaborate with the student on the project. Mentors will also work closely with the teacher and ITP staff to resolve any issues throughout the project.