The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Pathways of PLTW

Senior students gain valuable career experience in fourth-year PLTW classes
Ethan Herron
(From the left to right) Seniors Gavin Siems, Cole Gale, Christian Banks, Cameron Kraiger, Manas Kamath and Joey Schmitz work on their collaborative project with Endress+Hauser in Engineering Design and Development.

The PLTW programs offer two separate pathways: an engineering pathway and a biomedical pathway. Each pathway has its own specific set of classes for each year. But for the students in the fourth-year classes, it’s something more. 

The fourth-year engineering class, Engineering Design and Development, is a course taught by Brent Schulz that encourages students to expand upon the knowledge they have gained from the past three years of engineering classes while also helping prepare them for their future of engineering in college and beyond. 

“All of the classes have given me a lot of hands-on experience through projects,” senior Gavin Siems, who has taken the past three years of engineering courses and is in the fourth-year class for the engineering pathway, said. “This year, we’re doing a cumulative capstone – a pretty large project that’s going to mirror the engineering process.” 

This semester, students in this class have been learning about the Greenwood branch of the company “Endress+Hauser.” The experience students have gained from this will aid them in developing their engineering prowess using a real-world resource.

“Endress+Hauser is working with a company called Fork Farms, which makes vertical farms that don’t require soil,” Siems said. “Our task is to design an autonomous farm that has the ability to regulate the pH of water that the plants in these ‘Flex Farms’ receive while using Endress+Hauser flow meters and products.” 

Schulz has served as a connection between Endress+Hauser and the students, helping make an easier work flow for the students and giving them a guide on what to do.

“This is probably the first time that they’ve really not had benchmarks that they have to really meet up until now and probably in their whole educational career,” Schulz said. “It’s simulating what it is like in the business & engineering world. They have a problem they have to solve on their own and they have to have it solved by this date. Next semester, when they’re doing their full own project, it’s gonna be even more comprehensive.”

The PLTW program also offers a biomedical pathway. The fourth-year class, Medical Innovations, taught by Andrea Teevan, is all about giving students the opportunity to gain some real-world experience, much like its engineering counterpart. 

“You get to do an internship in fourth-year biomed, which allows you to see how what you learned in class applies in real life, preparing you to have a career in the medical field,” senior Kayla Fischer said.

Recently, students have been learning about and designing their own emergency room. They’ve been using this to apply real-world skills in their medical career.

“We are learning about emergency rooms and we are designing our own ER,” senior Ananya Munjaal said. “We have to create a model for our design and an innovation. After we have a plan for our innovation, we get to 3D print a model of it to present to the class and some people in the community.” 

Medical Innovations and the PLTW pathways as a whole have helped many students prepare for their future careers.

“Biomed has helped shape my future because of all the various opportunities it provides me,” Munjaal said. “It also exposes me to many careers I would’ve never thought of, for example, pharmacogenetics.” 

The PLTW Biomedical pathway offers opportunities for students to take advantage of and embrace what the real-world medical field is like. With major projects to continue the engagement, it helps students maintain critical thinking and problem solving skills based on medical problems and possibilities.

The PLTW pathways offer opportunities for students to gain a powerful understanding of the real world and everything that goes on within it. From Civil Engineering to Biomedical studies, they offer opportunities unlike other curriculums.

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