Pathway to Engineering

PLTW Engineering Students Become Tomorrow's Problem Solvers Today.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering empowers students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers. The program’ s courses engage students in compelling, real-world challenges that help them become better collaborators and thinkers. Students take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

Pathway To Engineering™, is a four year pre-engineering program integrated into the students’ core curriculum. The combination of traditional math and science courses with innovative Pathway To Engineering™ courses prepares students for college majors in engineering and technology fields and offers them the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.
The Pathway To Engineering™ program begins in the ninth grade and is completed in the twelfth grade. Enrollment is limited and selection is based on student interest, willingness to commit to a four year program, math and science middle school grades, and math placement scores.  Math placement scores must be above 90% national percentile for the High School Placement Test with a math grade equivalent score above 9.5. Selected students will receive a letter of invitation with their letter of acceptance to Archbishop Spalding High School. Interested students and parents can attend a question and answer workshop.
Pathway To Engineering™ courses engage high school students through a combination of activities-based, project-based, and problem-based (APPB) learning. APPB learning not only creates an environment for applying engineering concepts to real problems, but also prepares students to:
  • Solve problems
  • Participate as part of a team
  • Lead teams
  • Speak to a public audience
  • Conduct research
  • Understand real-world impacts
  • Analyze data
  • Learn outside the classroom
The first course in the program is Introduction to Engineering Design. Students in the Pathway to Engineering™ program will also be expected to complete Principles of Engineering during their sophomore year, Digital Electronics during their junior year and Engineering Design & Development during their senior year.
  • Honors Introduction to Engineering Design

    This course is part of the four year Pathway To Engineering™ program. This course exposes freshmen to engineering design through exploring the design process, engineering standards, research and analysis, technical documentation, global and human impacts, communications methods, and teamwork. Students will develop their problem-solving skills in a term-based environment. Students will create virtual models of product solutions using solid modeling computer design software in order to analyze for viability. Students will build working prototypes using laser and 3D printing technologies. There are four major projects that are used to guide the student through the four units in this course. These projects include the Puzzle Cube, Toy Train, Reverse Engineering Project, and Final Design Project. This course fulfills the Computer Science graduation requirement for Archbishop Spalding High School.

    OPEN to freshmen and sophomores only.
  • Honors Principles of Engineering

    This survey course of engineering exposes students to major concepts they’ll encounter in a postsecondary engineering course of study. Students employ engineering and scientific concepts in the solution of engineering design problems. They develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to various challenges, documenting their work and communicating solutions to peers and members of the professional community.

    OPEN to sophomores who have successfully completed Introduction to Engineering Design or are concurrently enrolled in 1280.
  • Honors Digital Electronics

    Digital Electronics is the study of electronic circuits that are used to process and control digital signals. In contrast to analog electronics, where information is represented by a continuously varying voltage, digital signals are represented by two discreet voltages or logic levels. This distinction allows for greater signal speed and storage capabilities and has revolutionized the world of electronics. Digital electronics is the foundation of all modern electronic devices such as cellular phones, MP3 players, laptop computers, digital cameras, high definition televisions, etc.
    The major focus of the DE course is to expose students to the design process of combinational and sequential logic design, teamwork, communication methods, engineering standards, and technical documentation. Utilizing the activity-project-problem-based (APPB) teaching and learning pedagogy, students will analyze, design and build digital electronic circuits. While implementing these designs, students will continually hone their interpersonal skills, creative abilities and understanding of the design process.

    OPEN to juniors who have successfully completed Principles of Engineering.
  • Honors Engineering Design and Development

    Also known as the Senior Capstone, this course takes the knowledge and skills students acquire throughout the four-year PLTW Engineering program and brings them together. Students will work in teams to identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution; ultimately presenting their solution to a panel of engineers. They will be teamed with professional engineers who will mentor each team through the design process. Students apply the professional skills they have developed to document a design process to standards. The completion of Engineering Design and Development prepares students for pursuing engineering in college.

    OPEN to juniors who have successfully completed Principles of Engineering.
  • Photo of Amy Brunner

    Amy Brunner

    Department Chair
    (410) 969-9105 Ext. 310
    University of Maryland University College - MBA
  • Photo of Anna DiGiulian

    Anna DiGiulian

    (410) 969-9105 Ext. 252
    University of Maryland, College Park - BS

One in Christ

Archbishop Spalding High School

8080 New Cut Road
Severn, MD 21144