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Maryland CTE Student Profile

Chinyere O.

Chinyere O.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Pre-Engineering

Charles Herbert Flowers High School - Prince George's County, Maryland

If you want to be prepared for a career in the 21st Century, PLTW Pre-Engineering is the program for you!

I started in my program when I was in ninth grade. All incoming freshmen were required to take a placement exam. Based on my results and previous math and science grades, the counselor suggested I consider the PLTW Pre-Engineering program. At the time, I had no idea what engineering was. Currently, I am enrolled at Prince George’s Community College majoring in Chemical Engineering. I plan to transfer to University of Maryland Baltimore or College Park campus upon receiving my associate degree to continue my education for Chemical Engineering. The PLTW Pre-Engineering courses have prepared me for the rigor of college. Being in the program, I have seen some of the concepts currently being taught to me in college; therefore, the classes are not as challenging for me as a freshman. I am also a Lockheed Martin scholar.

How did the PLTW Pre-Engineering program prepare you to enter either college or a career?
The PLTW Pre-Engineering Program’s course work incorporated all you will need to be successful in college as well as in your career field. It integrated the importance of teamwork, critical thinking, effective study habits development, and professionalism. As an engineer you must be able to work within a group setting and communicate effectively. My involvement in the program has taught me skills not acquired in a regular classroom setting, such as: professionalism, knowing how to dress, speak and conduct myself in a professional setting such as an interview, conference, or a networking event.

What academic subjects were important to your success in the PLTW Pre-Engineering program?
My math courses were definitely important in being successful in the program. Luckily for me I did what I had to do in order to be at the appropriate level of math to correlate with my current engineering course. For example, during my Principles of Engineering class, having prior knowledge in Algebra 2 Trig definitely helped me in understanding the math concepts required for that course. The program also allowed me to take more advanced math classes. Upon graduation, I completed Calculus I & II.

How did your PLTW Pre-Engineering courses differ from your traditional high school courses? How did you apply the theory you learned in your high school math and science courses?
My PLTW courses were very hands-on and required a lot of problem-solving. Most of the traditional high school courses are filled with lectures and maybe a few labs. However, in my CTE courses, we were taught different concepts such as math and science theories and instead of testing us on it or doing a lab where the teacher literally gives you instructions, we put our knowledge to the test with application in designing and building projects. Most projects had general guidelines, but it was up to the students to make something operate by brainstorming, using critical thinking, and applying the engineering design process. For me this was the perfect way to learn!

What is the most exciting thing you learned or have done in your PLTW Pre-Engineering program?
The most exciting thing I learned and took away from my program experience would be the power of networking and how much it can benefit you if you know the right people. You never know who knows who which also means you should always be prepared. This is a lifelong lesson I will continue to take with me.

How did you fit both your academic and PLTW Pre-Engineering courses into your schedule?
It was a natural fit. The program at my school requires the students to take honors and Advance Placement (AP) classes.

How did taking PLTW Pre-Engineering Program of Study prepare you for entry into the work place?
Taking PLTW courses prepared me for entry into the work place in many ways. Working collaboratively with my classmates throughout the four years has taught how to communicate effectively in a group and the importance of time management. In addition, I have learned how to be an effective leader and become comfortable with public speaking. All of the employment soft and hard skills I developed from participating in the program DEFINITELY prepared me for the workplace!