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 environment which gives them an opportunity to learn about different engineering disciplines before beginning postsecondary 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.

Job Outlook


Real World Experience

  • Job-shadow, internship. or Exploring program
  • Work Seminar / Employment Skills

Foundational Required Courses

(Must have 3 PLTW courses total)

  • Introduction to Engineering Design
  • Principles of Engineering
  • Robotics

Choose at Least One of the Following

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

Recommended Courses

  • Machine Tool Technology
  • Advanced Machine Tool Technology
  • Basic Welding
  • Advanced Welding
  • Electricity & Electronics I
  • Global Perspectives

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.

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

Postsecondary Programs

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


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 master’s 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

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.

Team Industries Logo
Wells Technology Logo
LaValley Industries Logo
Aircorps Aviation Logo