Teacher: Lorraine Norris (Program Lead), Dan Rho, Jim Warren, Jen Cho
Room: Room 603 | Sundays 2-4 pm
The Palos Verdes Institute of Technology (PVIT ) opened at PVHS in 1987 and featured one of the first high school robotics programs in the nation. When the school was reopened in 2001, PVHS students continued the PVIT tradition by becoming the only high school to field a DARPA “Grand Challenge” autonomous vehicle. The PVHS team competed with entries from Cal Tech, MIT, Virginia Tech and the winning vehicle from Stanford. With this established record of success, there was interest in developing a PVIT program that would offer pre-College engineering/technology courses while continuing opportunities for competitions, internships, mentoring and research.
Project Lead the Way (PTLW) offers this type of program through a flexible sequence of courses which builds students engineering/technology skills and knowledge. PVHS has linked math/science classes with PLTW courses which are recognized by UC and CSU and meet the “g” admission requirement. PLTW program comes from the UC faculty who have reported that they are impressed with PLTW and believe that these courses offer a great opportunity for students.
The United States is facing a critical shortage in the number of engineering students graduating from our universities. In 2002, there were about 78,000 aerospace engineers and 7,600 biomedical and biotechnical engineers working in the U.S. according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet the demand for engineers in the fields of design and manufacturing is continually growing and thousands of jobs are going unfilled.
Corporations here in our South Bay, including Aerospace, Boeing Corporation, Northrop Grumman, and Honda have enthusiastically advised our school to join with Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a national nonprofit organization, to help our students gain the knowledge they need to prepare for College and to excel in engineering and other high-tech fields.
In addition to these corporations, the University of California (UC) and other major universities have recognized PLTW, and many including Duke University and Purdue University offer credit or advanced placement for the PLTW coursework to students when they enroll. Rochester Institute of Technology also makes transferable College credit available to PVHS PLTW students.
This (PLTW) is exactly the type of initiative that we hope participants will write about in the UC personal statement when we ask applicants about opportunities they have taken advantage of to prepare for study at the University. —- Susan Wilbur Office of the President University of California