(587e) Entrepreneurship for High School Students and Teachers through Project Lead the Way | AIChE

(587e) Entrepreneurship for High School Students and Teachers through Project Lead the Way


High, K. - Presenter, Oklahoma State University

Pre-engineering High School programs such Project Lead the Way (PLTW) have proven to be effective in motivating students towards engineering programs. Project Lead The Way Inc. is a national program forming partnerships among Public Schools, Higher Education Institutions and the Private Sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from our education system. PLTW provides a comprehensive curriculum emphasizing science and mathematics. PLTW is designed to help high school students prepare for college engineering coursework Oklahoma State University is the 26th university to become an affiliate in PLTW's network of colleges and universities that offer training and education to teachers. More than 660 Oklahoma high school students are currently enrolled in PLTW Pre-Engineering education programs at pilot sites located at seven of Oklahoma's technology centers across the state.

Dr. High is a trainer for teachers in the Engineering Design and Development (EDD) module. The EDD module is a capstone course for senior high school students that focus on invention and entrepreneurial skills. Many of the Oklahoma pre-engineering academies also use the FIRST robotics competition in the EDD course. The competition is an exciting, multinational competition that teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way.

The EDD module includes innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship and show students how to take engineering one step further. The creativity that must be used to develop patentable products is very intriguing to students. There are a few programs available that specifically focus on entrepreneurship for K-12 students. Issues of intellectual property are addressed such as research journaling, trademarks, copyrights and patents, patent searches and how business and technologists can use these forms of intellectual property in their daily work. Technical innovation is a major component. The topics are: product innovation, process innovation, project planning, brainstorming, creativity, project management, problem solving, business plans, new product development (NPD), methods of NPD idea generation, design, and positioning, product design procedure, prototypes, customer needs, converting needs to specifications, and technical communications.