PLTW Engineering

The Project Lead the Way PLTW Engineering Academy allows students to engage in open-ended problem-solving, learn and apply the engineering design process, and use the same industry-leading technology and software as are used in the world’s top companies. Students are immersed in design as they investigate topics such as sustainability, mechatronics, forces, structures, aerodynamics, digital electronics and circuit design, manufacturing, and the environment which gives them an opportunity to learn about different engineering disciplines before beginning post-secondary education or careers. They learn about how to apply STEM knowledge skills and habits of mind to make the world a better place through innovation. Project Lead the Way classes promote hands-on experience applying math and science concepts to solving real-life problems.

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Job Outlook

Engineering Job Outlook: Aerospace Engineers
Engineering Job Outlook: Manufacturing Engineering Technologists
Engineering Job Outlook: Civil Engineers

Required Courses

  • Introduction to Engineering Design
  • Principles of Engineering
  • Robotics
  • Work Seminar
  • Real-World Experience

Choose at least one of the following:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Digital Electronics
  • Engineering Design & Development

Recommended Courses

  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Advanced Machine Tool Technology
  • Basic Welding
  • Advanced Welding
  • Electricity and Electronics

Foundational Classes: 

Work Seminar and advanced math and science options



Career Options

High school and 2-year college: CAD Technician, Machine Tool Technician, Robot Technician, Electrical Technician, Surveying Technician.

Four-year college or more: Any Engineering degree, Engineering is the most versatile degree to receive for a career in business and industry.

Work Seminar

Work Seminar is an on-campus business course used in conjunction with Internship and Work-Based Learning experiences. Students interested in obtaining high school credit through Interning should register for Work Seminar. This course gives students the opportunity to explore various careers and build essential foundational skills in the areas of problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking. Aptitude and personality analysis are explored along with work safety, resume building, interview preparation, and budgeting. Soft skills taught throughout the course include: responsibility at the workplace, taking initiative, reliability, workplace ethics, and communication skills.

Job Skills

In addition to having technical skills, employers expect their workers to have other skills such as:

  • Listening skills
  • Effective communication
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Time management
  • Tools and equipment management

Post Secondary Programs

University of Minnesota
 At all the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will facilitate credit transfer from the Project Lead the Way Academy.

Fun Facts

  • The median annual wage for Architecture and Engineering occupations is $76,870. The median annual wages for all occupations is just $36,200.
  • When surveyed 89% of engineers say they are happy with the lifestyle that their job entailed (i.e. travel, hours, location and colleagues). And 70% were sure that they wanted to stay in engineering long term.

Chris Conway

Chris Conway has lived in Bemidji MN all his life and is a proud 2002 graduate of Bemidji High School. He studied Technology Education at Bemidji State University from 2002-2006 followed by student teaching at Cass Lake-Bena High School in the fall of 2006. He earned his Masters Degree in Environmental and Technological Studies from St. Cloud State University fall of 2013. Chris landed his first teaching job at Cass Lake-Bena High and Middle school teaching Technology Education for the 2007 school year. He spent 8 years teaching at Cass Lake-Bena schools and was a Robotics coach for 6 of those years. In the fall of 2015 Chris was hired here at BHS as one of the Industrial Technology Education Teachers and as the Head Robotics Team coach. Mr. Conway teaches primarily our Project Lead the Way Engineering courses, but also teaches Woods, Introduction the Industrial Tech, and our CAD courses. During his free time Mr. Conway enjoys spending time watching his two boys grow up(Jameson& Kellan), hunting, fishing and enjoying the great outdoors.

Business and Industry Experience/Partners

TEAM Industries, Wells Technology, Karvakko Engineering, LaValley Industries, Aircorps Aviation. 
 Students in the academy do research on their engineering career interests, tour local business and manufacturing, attend career fairs, and have opportunities to intern and job shadow for real life engineering experience.

Academy Gallery